Crime

Indian-Origin Child’s Death in Hijack Attempt Sparks Angry Protests in Durban

Over 2,000 people protested outside the Chatsworth police station after nine-year-old Sadia Sukhraj was killed following a botched hijacking attempt.

By

Over 2,000 members of the Indian community gathered outside the police station at Chatsworth, Durban, on May 28 to protest over the death of an Indian-origin girl, who was killed in a botched hijacking attempt that morning.

The Chatsworth police station was marked with scenes of chaos as hundreds of people came together to demand the arrest of the suspects. The protesters also demanded that the one of the perpetrators arrested should not be given bail. The police had to use teargas and rubber bullets to quell the demonstrations, Huffington Post reported.

Sadia Sukhraj, 9, was killed in the gunfire that ensued after an attempt was made to hijack the car in which she was travelling with her father, Shailendra.

Chatsworth is largely an Indian township in Durban.

Many people took to the social media to demand justice.

Social media users also posted updates about the protests outside the police station.

Following the incident, police crowd control units from throughout the city were deployed to main law and order as angry crowd gathered at the scene, Times Live reported. The protesters also tried to burn tyres.

The residents urged the government to deploy more police officers in the Chatsworth. “We also need to force the government to ensure that we have sufficient police officers doing what’s right for the community because they are there to protect and serve and as such we need to make sure that government produces and ensures that they live up to their mandate,” DA Ward Councilor Sharon Hoosen was quoted as saying.

Sukhraj and her father had left their home in a car when they were confronted by a group of gunmen. The vehicle was then hijacked near Marklands Secondary School in Shallcross, said Jakes Singh, Chatsworth community policing forum chairman. “The hijackers drove away with the nine-year-old child. The hijacked vehicle was pursued by the child’s father‚ and then there was a shooting‚ so we don’t know exactly how the child got shot and by whom‚” Singh was quoted as saying by Herald Live.

According to KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Captain Nqobile Gwala, the incident occurred outside Sukhraj’s home. The child’s school was near her home.

“At 7.30 am the father was at the family home when he was accosted by three armed suspects who then took his vehicle. There was a shooting and the suspects sped off with the nine-year-old girl,” Gwala said, according to Herald Live.

While the hijackers were speeding off in the vehicle, they hit a truck and lost control of the vehicle. One of the men was arrested as he attempted to flee from the scene by an off-duty police officer‚ while another man died near the vehicle. A third man is still at large.

“The nature of his injuries is still unknown because the forensic team is still busy. A 39-year-old suspect was apprehended by an off-duty police official who witnessed the incident‚” Gwala said.

Sukhraj was critically injured with injuries on her abdomen, and was rushed to the hospital where she succumbed to the injuries.

Mahendra Lillkan, the chairperson of the local Crime Forum, said that the crime in the area has increased despite community patrol conducted in the night, Times Live reported. “It seems that the criminals have now resorted to striking at soft targets, such as parents taking their children to school, as we have seen with this tragic incident,” Lillkan said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *