The Caribbean American Domestic Violence Awarness (CADVA) organisation has unveiled a miniature sculpture of domestic violence victim, Babita Sarjou, whose skeletal remains were found earlier this year in a shallow grave in her husband’s backyard.
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hitman paid $50,000, promised trip to T&T
grave dug two days before murder
By Michael Jordan and Romila Boodram
For close to six years, Sharadananda Narine ate and slept in his Lot 51, Seaforth Street residence, seemingly undisturbed by the fact that his reputed wife, Babita Sarjou, lay buried in a shallow grave in his backyard.
But that gruesome secret came to light just before 14.00 hrs yesterday, when detectives unearthed Sarjou’s skeletal remains on the same property.
Digging for some five hours in a water-logged area, detectives, aided by several recruits, first located the murdered woman’s rib-cage, in a three-foot-deep grave that 38-year-old Sharadananda Narine, called ‘Anand’, and his alleged accomplice, Darel Pronton, called ‘Yankee,’ had led them to after hours of interrogation.
They then dug up a skull, several bones, a pair of high-heeled shoes, a brassiere, and bits of clothing from the same spot.
Hours later, detectives brought a shackled Anand Narine, with head bowed, and his alleged hit-man, Dorel Pronton, out of the yard, to separate police vehicles.
The discovery, played out before several shocked neighbours, brought an end to years of agony for Babita Sarjou’s family, who had been wondering about her fate since she vanished without trace on November 4, 2010.
At the scene yesterday, a clearly elated Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum commended his investigators for cracking the case.
“After hours and days of painstaking investigation, they were able to solicit crucial information which would have led to this breakthrough. This is no longer a missing person (case), but it is homicide that we are investigating.
“The remains were found in the back of the house in a shallow grave which was about three feet in depth. So far, we believe the body is that of Babita Sarjou, nevertheless to be 100 percent certain that it is that of Babita Sarjou.
“We will need to do DNA tests. We have already obtained samples from the remains and relatives and we will be sending it to Trinidad this week or early next week.
“It will not prevent us from instituting any charges. We have established a case against both suspects and we are in contact with the police Legal Advisor from the initial stage of the investigation and very soon we will be able to receive her legal opinion as it relates to instituting charges.”
Police hinted at a breakthrough late last week after detaining Sarjou’s estranged husband, Sharadananda Narine, and Darel Pronton, a 35-year-old unemployed man from James and Albouys Street, Albouystown.
Evidence against the men allegedly includes statements and phone calls that Narine made to Pronton with Sarjou’s cell phone shortly after she disappeared.
$50,000 and trip to Trinidad
As for a motive, Kaieteur News understands that Sarjou’s husband has stated that he was furious because he suspected that she was having an affair with a man at her workplace. He was also angry that she had taken him to court on allegations that he had posted up nude pictures of her.
It is alleged that he hired the unemployed Pronton, whom he had befriended, to kill Sarjou. Pronton was allegedly paid $50,000 and promised a trip to Trinidad. The trip to Trinidad never materialised.
It is alleged that on the Diwali Night of November 4, 2010, Babita Sarjou left her mother’s home at Timehri, after making arrangements to meet her spouse, Narine, who would take her to see the motorcade at the Kitty seawall. She was also reportedly to meet her four-year-old son.
Unknown to Sarjou, Narine and Pronton had already dug her grave in Narine’s Seaforth Street backyard, two days before.
Sarjou reportedly met her husband outside the National Cultural Centre and entered his car. It is around this same area that Pronton, who was allegedly sitting in the back seat, strangled Sarjou.
With the body covered with a blanket, the two men reportedly then drove to Narine’s Seaforth Street residence. Narine reportedly reversed into the yard, and the men concealed the body in a section of the bottom house, while Pronton remained with the corpse. At around midnight, the two men then took the body to the backyard and threw it over a zinc fence and into the grave.
It remained there for close to six years, with detectives reportedly within a few feet of the corpse on one occasion while searching the premises shortly after her disappearance.
But over the years, Sarjou’s relatives, with assistance from the Caribbean American Domestic Awareness Organization (CADVA), pressed relentlessly to have the case re-opened.
Police said that the two alleged killers reportedly panicked when police revealed recently that they were reopening their investigation.
Narine reportedly enquired from his alleged accomplice if he knew of any substance that could dissolve human bones.
While police have received criticism for the way they conducted their investigation during its early stages, an official said that Narine had presented investigators with a strong alibi for his whereabouts at the time his wife had vanished.
Kaieteur News was told that things were no less challenging this time around, since Narine came into custody with an attorney. But Kaieteur News was told that police put in a lot of preparation into their case before taking the suspects into custody.
Speaking about the tedious work the ranks did to crack the case and retrieve the body, the Crime Chief revealed that the suspects had indicated on Saturday where they had buried Sarjou.
To ensure that no one tampered with the remains, police kept the premises under surveillance.
He said that the grave was located in a flooded area, and the ranks had to pump the water out and also place sand-bags. Digging for the body began at around 08.00 hrs yesterday and concluded at around 13.50 hrs.
Caption: SOLVED! Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum and his men leaving the scene (babita body 6)
Having your child vanish from the face of the earth is every mother’s worst fear.
There’s one mother, Champa Seonarine who has been living this nightmare for almost six years. She is the mother of Babita Sarjou.
The mother of one disappeared on November 04, 2010 after telling her mother that she would be meeting with her estranged husband and four-year-old son at the Kitty Seawall to view the annual Diwali Motorcade.
Sarjou was expected back at her mother’s Timehri residence around 21:00 hrs that night but almost six years later, the mother is still waiting on her daughter’s return.
In an effort to assist the missing woman’s family to get some sort of closure, Caribbean American Domestic Awareness Organization (CADVA), a Human Rights Organization has been working closely with the woman’s mother.
The organization works with the abused and families of murdered women in the Caribbean and has been working with Seonarine since Sarjou disappeared in 2010.
Every little clue they get, the organization would forward the information to the police. However, the organization’s representative, Dianne Madray has claimed that ranks from the Guyana Police Force have not been helpful in any way with the investigation.
During a press conference two weeks ago, the woman lambasted the police for conducting a substandard investigation into Sarjou’s disappearance.
“When she disappeared, we gave her phone to the police where she was threatened by her estrange husband, we showed them Facebook messages but none of those things can be found now,” the woman said.
Kaieteur News was told that the police never checked with the phone company to get a printout of all the calls made to and from Sarjou’s phone.
Madray believes that some of the detectives who were working on this case know more than they are offering the public and the family of the missing woman.
“This case has appeared to have gone cold or I would say freezing on a cold winter’s night,” the woman told reporters.
Like Madray, there are people – especially those who are familiar with the woman’s story – who believe that if investigators had conducted a thorough investigation when the woman disappeared, there might have been some form of closure.
It is believed that Sarjou’s disappearance is a case of deliberate miscarriage of justice or mere negligence on the part of concerned authorities who should take all the necessary steps to ensure that justice is served, especially when precious human life is involved.
Madray said that in 2012, CADVA had appealed to the Director for Public Prosecution, Shalimar Ali- Hack for assistance.
On January 06, 2012 they were informed in writing by the DPP that further investigation was recommended to clarify certain issues.
“The DPP had advised that a sample be taken from the bone tissue of the skeletal remains of a female that had washed up at the Weldaad foreshore less than a year after Babita disappeared,” the woman said.
Kaieteur News was told that upon completion of all of the investigations recommended, the file should have been returned to DPP for further advice but as of April 2016, that file was never returned.
“I had a meeting with Mrs. Hack and Assistant DPP Ms. Mursalin on March 18 (last) and was again informed that the Guyana Police Force responsible for this investigation has not sent the file since her first request in 2012.” Madray said.
She said that her request in March last was her third request to have the case reopened and re-investigated.
“On March 21, last, the DPP informed me that they will request the file once again and up to my second meeting at the DPP office on April 1 last, no file had returned,” the woman claimed.
Kaieteur News tried to contact the office of the DPP for a comment but this was unsuccessful.
Madray said too that she sent a letter to the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan and on March 29, last, she received a response that her request will be passed on to the Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud.
The woman is pleading with the relevant authorities for Babita Sarjou’s case to be reinvestigated so that her loved ones can finally get justice.
November 5, 2014 4:09 pm
By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – An application to reopen the cold case for missing mother of one, Babita Sarjou, will be made to the Guyana Police Force by Caribbean American Domestic Violence Awareness Association (CADVA) and Caribbean One Billion Rising Movement, as they seek to have the matter brought back into the courts.
The woman has been missing for the past four years and is the spouse of businessman, Anand Nandarine. She disappeared on November 04, 2011 after leaving her work place in West Rumiveldt with intent to meet her husband and son despite their separation.
iNews understands that the missing woman made a domestic violence report against her husband, who was charged in connection with the publication of pornographic images featuring his wife.
The case was dismissed for want of prosecution on July 05 2011.
Last evening, Regional Representative of CADVA, Diane Madray organized a candle light vigil for the missing woman, which saw the attendance of her relatives, scores of women and Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan.
The vigil commenced from the missing woman’s last place of residence – Sea Forth Street Campbellville – and ended at the seawalls.
Madray, after a meeting with Crime Chief, Leslie James today, Wednesday November 05 said she was promised that no effort will be spared to ensure all is done by the Guyana Police Fore this time around.
She told iNews that the application to reopen the case will be sent to the Police, after which it will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice.
She added that the Crime Chief expressed great concern on the matter and even promised to look at the samples that were sent for DNA testing in Trinidad in 2011 but never returned.
CADVA has called for the woman’s husband to be looked at as a person of interest in the matter since he was abusive in many ways to his missing wife and angry when she took him to court.
She assured that they will not give up and called on all organizations to come on board and help them bring closure to the matter for the missing woman’s friends and family.
She also highlighted the fact that no search effort was made by the Police, nor the woman’s husband after she went missing and called for circumstantial evidence to be used in the court when they matter is taken up by the police.
The missing woman’s mother, Champa Sarjou called on mothers to be more vigilant and pay keener attention to their daughters who maybe in abusive relationships.
“I did not know how serious this abuse was until the fourth time she came home to us and told us that Annand had stripped her naked, beat her and dragged her. I told her not to go back, but she did not listen.”
Ramjattan joined the women last evening and promised to help with legal advice for this case to ensure the matter is brought to the court.
“We have to think of specialized legislation for persons who have disappeared and on that score we plan to ask the commonwealth whether there is going to be some blueprint legislation…that purposes with the necessary modifications and adaptions to apply to Guyana,” the AFC Leader said.Read More