Teen’s brutal injuries

2013-06-07 00:00

“I WILL never let my youngest daughter out of my sight”. These were the words of the grieving Vicky Janthielayal, whose daughter Rashmika was murdered at the Northdale FET College earlier this week.

Rashmika’s cremation took place in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday, and Janthielayal said his family would never recover from losing their oldest child.

“She was like a light in this house,” Janthielayal told The Witness at the family’s home in Greytown yesterday.

“From the time she was a little child, she always had a smile on her face. We will never recover from this,” the distraught father said.

He vowed to never let his remaining daughter, 15-year-old Santhisha, out of his sight.

“It’s just not safe out there anymore.”

Her grandmother, Pranusha Sewbalak, said Rashmika wasn’t stabbed to death, but butchered by a man who was reported to be her boyfriend. The family denied that they had been in a relationship, and confirmed that they were merely acquaintances. They also said that she was not pregnant.

“She had a stab wound on her back, her cheeks were slashed open, her ears were split, there was a deep gash on her thigh that went through an artery. He didn’t stab her, he sliced her,” Sewbalak said.

“He went there with the intention of killing her,” she said. She alleged that the man had been stalking Rashmika for a while and made several threatening phonecalls.

Her injuries were so bad that the family refused to let her mother Shireen see them.

“In the Hindu religion, when a child dies, it is custom for the mother to bathe and prepare her before the cremation. But we had to do it and we only showed her mother her face once we were done.”

Her mother Shireen said the last time they were with her was during a family outing to the Royal Show on Saturday. “That is the last time we saw her.”

On the day of her cremation on Wednesday, about 900 people attended her funeral and cremation that began at the family’s home in Greytown and ended in Pietermaritzburg.

“She was well liked and respected. The people that gathered here could tell us just what kind of a person she was. Her fellow students came to her funeral, and one of them read out a message.

“She said that she was a sister, a friend, someone who always helps a friend in need. She took friendship with sincerity and was a bit naïve because she trusted everyone,” she said.

Janthielayal said his youngest daughter was taking Rashmika’s death very badly.

Janthielayal said: “They were very close … She had a number of panic attacks during the funeral. There were times when I looked over at her and she just couldn’t breathe.”

An angry Janthielayal said of the man accused of killing his daughter: “We hope he is convicted, serves a life sentence and rots in jail. After what he has done, he shouldn’t be allowed to live in society.”

Shireen said: “We wouldn’t like other parents to go through this. Anyone who knows anything, please come forward because if he comes out, he can do this again.”

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