Defence claims grandmother tried to separate children from their mother
The second day of Shahista Shewani Devi’s attempted murder trial defence counsel Abhay Singh made claims that the grandmother Madhur Lata had tried to separate Devi from her children. The matter is being heard before Judge Justice Riyaaz Hamza at the Suva High Court. Devi is charged with a count each of attempted murder and criminal intimidation. She is alleged to have attempted to murder her four-year-old son Divyan and had also alleged to have threatened to kill her motherin-law Madhur Lata.
The alleged offence occurred on February 2, last year.
Mr Singh put it to Ms Lata that she has been brainwashing Divyan ever since he was a child to which she said no.
He further stated that Ms Lata used to tell the children that if they were naughty then their mother would smack them.
To that Ms Lata agreed and said that she used to tell the children not to be naughty or else their mother would smack them again. It was put to Ms Lata by Mr Singh that she always had a problem with Devi.
To that Ms Lata responded that that was not always the case but when Devi says things to the children, that was when she used to intervene.
Mr Singh put it to her that she had told her son Manish Prasad in front of Devi to leave Devi and keep the children to which she said no.
Ms Lata denied statements made by Mr Singh about her trying to separate the three children from their mother instead she told the court that she wanted to stay with Devi. She also told the court that when Divyan’s evidence was being recorded by the Police, she was in another room while Divyan was with his father in a separate room.
Prosecution witness two: Manish Prasad
The second prosecution witness was Devi’s husband, Manish Prasad. State counsel Saif Shah asked Mr Prasad to recall the morning of February 2, last year. Mr Prasad told the court that he woke up to the sound of his wife and mother arguing over butter.
He told the court that Devi was shouting and asking Ms Lata why she had touched her butter and he stated that the argument went on till his mother went into her room. “I asked my wife why she was arguing as it was just the butter and she told me that the butter was given to Divyan who had an asthma attack the previous night and that was why she got angry and asked me, what if Divyan gets an asthma attack again,” said Mr Prasad.
He further told the court that his mother, Ms Lata continued shouting at him while his wife went to cook the food.
Justice Hamza asked Mr Prasad what was his mother saying when she was shouting at him.
Mr Prasad replied saying that his mother said: “What kind of woman have you married? Who is fighting with me because of butter?”
Mr Shah further asked him to tell the court what had happened next.
“I was listening and listening to my mother and I got angry and I went to my wife who was cooking outside on the terrace and said to her that you cannot wake up in the morning and cook food for me and you wake up late,” he said.
Justice Hamza further questioned him on what made him say that to Devi.
Mr Prasad said that after the butter matter Devi had gone to cook food and his mother had gone into her room but after his mother started shouting at him he got angry and said that to Devi.
The state is represented by Mr Shah and Zenith Zunaid.
The case continues tomorrow with the continuation of Mr Prasad’s evidence.
Shahista Shewani Devi (right), on September 14, 2017.