The police were yesterday granted an additional 72 hours to keep the husband of Babita Sarjou and his alleged accomplice in custody and her relatives have positively identified her belongings.
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum yesterday informed Stabroek News that the initial detention period for the duo expired on Sunday and an application was made to the High court for additional time, which was granted.
According to Blanhum, Sarjou’s relatives positively identified items found with the body as her belongings yesterday. These include a pair of slippers, Indian attire and underwear.
“So far we believe the body is that of Babita Sarjou but nevertheless for us to determine one hundred per cent certainty we will need to do DNA testing,” Blanhum had told reporters on Sunday. He had said since they already have samples from Sarjou, they would be sending those samples along with those from the remains to Trinidad this week for testing.
The shallow grave aback of the home of Sarjou’s estranged husband, Anand Narine at Lot 51 Seaforth Street, Campbellville, which held the skeletal remains, was dug up on Sunday.
The police made a major breakthrough in the case following the arrest of Narine and another individual last Thursday. They subsequently admitted to the crime and provided detectives with information which led them to the shallow grave.
Narine reportedly told investigators that he had suspected that Sarjou was having a relationship with someone at her workplace. He reportedly said he had become angry after Sarjou took him to court for exposing her nude photos and he was scared he would be sent to prison.
On the evening Sarjou went missing, she reportedly boarded a minibus for the city and thereafter met Narine and her son who were waiting in a car outside the National Cultural Centre. She was reportedly lured into the car, where the accomplice was seated in the back seat and was strangled.
The men then allegedly covered the body and drove to Narine’s Seaforth Street house, reversed into the yard and placed the body in a bedroom located in the bottom flat of the house. They reportedly waited until midnight and threw the body over the fence, into a grave that had already been dug, before replacing the mud.
Narine has since lived and dwelled on the same premises with his family for close to six years. This newspaper also understands that when he heard the police were hoping to reopen the case, he had allegedly contacted the accomplice enquiring if he was aware of any chemical that can be used to get rid of the bones, but the accomplice responded in the negative.
On the eve of Diwali, November 4, 2010, Sarjou had left her Timehri home to view the annual motorcade with her estranged husband and four-year-old son. She had promised she would be back home at around 9 that night.
Narine had faced intense scrutiny over her disappearance as there was a history of domestic violence in the relationship, evidenced by several reports made at the Kitty Police Station and the Timehri Police Station.
He had earlier been charged with harassment, being accused of exposing pictures of a half-naked Sarjou to the public with a view to corrupting public morals. The photographs had been displayed around her place of employment on August 31, 2010. He was freed of this charge a year later after Sarjou, who was the main witness, had disappeared.
Narine had allegedly paid his accomplice $50,000 and promised him a trip to Trinidad to kill Sarjou. They allegedly dug the three-ft grave, two days before she was killed.