De­fence claims grand­mother tried to sep­a­rate chil­dren from their mother

Fiji Sun - - Comment - JES­SICA SAVIKE Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola Feed­back: jes­sica.savike@fi­

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.

Photo: Jes­sica Savike

Shahista She­wani Devi (right), on Septem­ber 14, 2017.

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