Honeymoon murder victim’s uncle blasts husband

Monday, January 10, 2011

LONDON - The uncle of Anni Dewani, the Indian-origin woman murdered during her honeymoon in Cape Town, has lambasted her husband for not doing enough to protect her on the night she was shot dead.

“I wouldn’t have left my dog like that. I would never in my life have done that,” Ashok Hindocha told the Daily Mail.

Anni, 28, and her husband Shrien Dewani - who faces extradition over claims that he ordered the killing - were ambushed in a township near Cape Town Nov 13. She was driven off by two gunmen who put a bullet through her neck after they forced her husband out of the car.

Hindocha, speaking from his home in Mariestad, Sweden, blasted 31-year-old Dewani’s claim that he was pushed out of the rear window, and said he couldn’t understand why he didn’t put up a fight.

He spoke of text messages and letters which demonstrate that his 28-year-old niece was not happy after the wedding and that things were not right between the couple.

A message she had sent a friend six days before she died said: “Crying has become my new hobby.”

Dewani, from Bristol, has insisted he and his wife were “blissfully happy” and has dismissed as “ludicrous” South African claims that he masterminded her murder.

Hindocha - the brother of Anni’s father - said he lost his temper during his niece’s memorial service and cried: “Please stop this torture.”

“They were projecting photos from the wedding - pictures we hadn’t seen before - on to a big screen. Children were crying and shaking,” he said.

“I was really annoyed and that’s when I shouted. They were torturing the children. My brother had an empty look and was walking around like a zombie. I told him, ‘Let’s go, lets just go from here.’ I was angry, I was really annoyed.”

Hindocha said: “We went to Shrien’s house in Bristol because my brother’s wife wanted to see where Anni would have lived.”

“Everyone was sitting in the kitchen, 10 or 15 people from both families, and Shrien addressed us for about half an hour, explaining for the first time what happened.”

“He told us he was thrown out of the window of the car. He could have struggled, he is not a small person - he is six feet I think - and those guys weren’t big. He could have put up a fight. He had a chance.”

“Anni is a strong girl. If Shrien had fought back she would have definitely got involved. She was very sporty - she played hockey at the highest level - and she would have defended herself bravely.”

“It is so simple. A beautiful girl like that, two men with a gun - you know what they are going to do to her. I would not even have allowed my dog to be left like that. I would fight for the dog,” he said.

Hindocha also said there were concerns in the family that Dewani had a broken engagement behind him. His first fiancee was Rani Kans-agra, 26, who lives in Middlesex.

Anni’s family did not see as much as they would have liked of their future son-in-law. Then, for personal reasons, Anni broke off the relationship.

Hindocha said the split lasted for around a month but the couple got back together again after Anni visited Shrien in London.

“Our family does not know him that well. Obviously we checked out his family and we found nothing unusual. Our first priority was that he was educated and that he had a job and was doing well in his business. How well we didn’t care, that wasn’t important. It was Anni’s call.”

“If Anni liked him and wanted to go ahead with it, the family had no problem with it,” he said.

The wedding passed off well and both families were happy. But in the following days there was tension between the newlyweds, Hindocha said.

“It was crystal-clear that she wasn’t happy, that things weren’t right between them. There are far more text messages and letters but I cannot go into this because it’s evidence.”

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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