If I knew of my son’s intentions, I would not have dressed my four grandchildren and send them off from home, says an emotional Saida Bi. Mrs Bi of Baiganvanua, a settlement at Batinikama, Labasa, is grieving what is believed to be the loss of a son and three of her grandchildren. Her son, Mohammed Khaiyum, Monday night allegedly threw four of his children into the Labasa River from a boat and then jumped into the water.
The eldest son, Mohammed Azar, 10, managed to escape and was rescued by a man who witnessed the event unfold. The boy is now recovering at the Labasa Hospital.
Photo: Survived and in hospital – Mohammed Azhar
As Police searched yesterday they managed to recover the body of Mohammed Ayaan, 6. Still missing are Mohammed Arman, 4, and Ahana Khaiyum, 1, and Mr Khaiyum. Reeling in pain, 52-year-old Mrs Bi recalled: “My son, Mohammed Khaiyum, returned from his fishing trip on Monday and looked very sad because he had some argument with his wife who hadn’t been home for the past few days.
“They usually fight and she goes back to her home on Rabi Island but when things settles she returns. “My son got dressed, ate and told me to dress the kids because two of them asked him to take them for a picnic while the others requested for outdoor activity. So I did and I thought they went to the nearest shop or to my daughter, Shamina Bi’s house. “I grew worried and asked my husband, Mohammed Aziz, to call Khaiyum and ask where they were when they didn’t return home after 6pm. “But my husband said don’t worry it’s after a long time he is spending time out with all the kids.
“Later, we received a call that my son jumped with his kids in the Labasa River and so we all went to search but no avail.”
Her other son, Nur Mohammed, said they knew that his brother’s eldest son had managed to save himself.
“He is currently at the Labasa Hospital but we don’t know how and why it all happened,” Mr Mohammed said. “Khaiyum was the eldest in the family and he was very humble and hardworking. He did have some relationship problems but we never thought he would choose such a way to end his life.” Mr Khaiyum’s sister Shamina Bi said: “The night before, my brother Khaiyum called and said he was tired of his life and asked my husband to take good care of me. “His only daughter and the youngest in the family was sick for a few days and I had been looking after her and so he thought to thank me.
“If only I had known what he was going to do I would have counselled and encouraged him to share his burden.” Meanwhile, Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the Police search team recovered the body of a six-year-old boy at around 9.45am. “We are still searching for the father and two more children,” Ms Naisoro said. The search continues today.