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Wednesday 16 October 2019
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Pundit: ‘Desperadoes’ killed Penal family

TOGETHER: Vishal Mohammed lights the pyre with the bodies of his murdered father, Wazir Mohammed, and stepmother Shelly-Ann Raghunanan-Mohammed at the Shore of Peace cremation site at Mosquito Creek, La Romaine on Wednesday.   PHOTO BY LINCOLN HOLDER
TOGETHER: Vishal Mohammed lights the pyre with the bodies of his murdered father, Wazir Mohammed, and stepmother Shelly-Ann Raghunanan-Mohammed at the Shore of Peace cremation site at Mosquito Creek, La Romaine on Wednesday. PHOTO BY LINCOLN HOLDER

THERE are certain classes of crime for which the perpetrators should be put to death, a pundit told mourners on Wednesday at the funeral of a murdered Penal couple.

Pundit Rajendra Maharaj said one of those at the top of the list is when one attacks another person violently with weapons. According to Hindu texts, he said, someone who attacks others intending to take lives should be put to death.

"This individual is classified as a desperado. That is someone who attacks wantonly without regard for lives. Whenever these individuals are taken to court, human-right activists would speak out on their behalf. They express to us the death penalty is inhumane."

He officiated at the joint funeral of Wazir "Punkhan" Mohammed and his wife Shelly-Ann Raghunanan-Mohammed, at the Shore of Peace cremation site at Mosquito Creek in La Romaine.

The religious leader added: "But whenever these crimes are committed and when these individuals understand that there are no penalties really for taking another human’s life, they can become repeat offenders. So, one person can commit murders after murders."

Mohammed, 57, a scrap iron dealer, and Raghunanan-Mohammed, 43, were cremated under Hindu rites. Their funeral came the day after Mohammed’s brother Nazim Mohammed was buried under Muslim rites.

The couple’s son Vishal found the decomposing bodies of the trio last week Thursday at the family’s home at Clarke Road in Penal. The couple's other children – a four-year-old girl and an eight-month-old boy – had been with the bodies for days before Vishal made the horrific discovery. The children did not attend the funeral and are still in hospital.

Autopsies revealed Mohammed was shot twice and his wife and brother’s throats were slit.

Today, both coffins were covered with cloth but each bore a photograph of the victims. Vishal did not address mourners but helped perform final rites with relatives.

Wazir’s first son Ricky, 34, from a previous marriage, told mourners they may not know him, as he lives abroad. He last visited six years ago and had not seen the family since then.

Here I am today to show respect," he said.

He described his stepmother as "a great mom to the family. She and my mom were good friends. She never disrespected anyone in the family, and she showed a lot of love. I want to let everyone know that Shelly was a good person."

As for his father, he said he "has love."

No one has been arrested for the murders.

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