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Fiji Time: 8:40 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Granny's lament

Salaseini Moceiwai
Saturday, January 04, 2014

AMINA Bi's dream of seeing her only grandson through to tertiary education was shattered after his body was discovered in the Qawa River in Labasa yesterday afternoon.

Dead is sixth-former Abdul Zohab who was returning home from a prayer session with his neighbour Awaz Khan at the Nasekula Mosque.

Divisional police commander Northern SSP Naulumatua Lutunacaucau said the incident could be the first drowning case recorded in the Northern Division this year.

Ms Bi could not suppress her tears when she learnt that her grandson allegedly jumped off the Qawa River bridge after the car he was driving swerved and tumbled over the FSC bend.

She said she raised Abdul since he was a baby and seeing him die at a young age was unbearable.

Relatives and neighbours gathered at their Valebasoga home to comfort Ms Bi and Abdul's sickly father Abdul Hakim who was still in a state of shock when we visited them.

Ms Bi said her grandson continuously bid her farewell before going to the mosque.

She said that her grandson had just recently received his provisional driver's license and had asked his father to accompany him to the mosque since he was just a new driver.

But Abdul decided to go with his neighbour because his father was sickly.

Her grandson's death, Ms Bi said was painful and hard to accept.

Witnesses at the scene said that Abdul caught another taxi after the accident and headed towards the bridge.

A witness who wished not to be named said "the deceased got off when the taxi was still moving and jumped off the bridge".

Abdul's body was retrieved at 4.30pm with the help of firemen and police officers.

SSP Lutunacaucau said Abdul jumped over the bridge after making a phone call.

"He walked for about 50 metres before he climbed the railings and jumped off," SSP Lutunacaucau said.

"That is what we can say right now as investigations into the matter are continuing."

In another separate incident yesterday, a passenger died after the taxi he was riding in tumbled in Kuladrusi in Savusavu.

SSP Lutunacaucau said this was also the first fatal accident recorded in the North this year.