Husband of Indian origin woman burned alive found in Fiji

Monday, January 24, 2011

WELLINGTON - The husband of a young Indian-Fijian woman who was burnt alive along a New Zealand country roadside has been found in Fiji, along with their four-year-old son, police said Tuesday.

The man, identified by a New Zealand newspaper as Daniel Sharma, a courier driver, had been described by New Zealand police as a “person of considerable significance” to their investigation into the death of 28-year-old Ranjeeta Sharma.

Investigators said the man and his son, Akash, were known to have flown to Fiji, where the couple hailed from, Friday, the morning after his wife was found burned to death on an isolated road near the North Island town of Huntly.

New Zealand police, who said the woman’s car had been found at Auckland International Airport, alerted Interpol to find the man and boy.

Detective Nigel Keall, head of the investigation, told reporters: “Our inquiry is continuing, and we are seeking further clarification from Fiji police of the circumstances surrounding the father being located.”

He said police were currently working to verify the well-being of the boy, who his mother described as “my little boy, my life” when she posted a photograph on her Facebook page.

The ministry of foreign affairs and trade has confirmed that New Zealand has an agreement with Fiji allowing for the extradition of anyone facing a murder charge.

The New Zealand Herald reported earlier that Ranjeeta Sharma, a nurse, had a “volatile and violent” marriage and recently moved out of their home in suburban Manurewa, after complaining of being beaten by her husband.

“I would like to reiterate that while we are seeking to speak to Ranjeeta’s husband, we are keeping an open mind as to what, if any, involvement he has in this matter,” Keall said.

Representatives of various Indian cultural groups interviewed by media do not agree with suggestions that she may have been victim of a so-called “honour killing”, in which women are slain for having disgraced their husbands or families.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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