Justice Delayed: Mother Seeks Answers for Daughter’s Tragic Ferris Wheel Incident

A year after a mother lost her daughter in a tragic Ferris wheel accident at the annual Fiji Showcase event, Sunita Wati is still waiting for justice.

Ms Wati has been praying daily that those responsible for the death of her daughter, Kamal Kavita Kumar, will be held accountable.

Adding to her grief, Ms Wati lost her husband just a few months after the incident, making life unbearable for their family in Dilkusha, Nausori.

“He was silent in his pain, and I believe it ultimately led to his death,” Ms Wati said. “But I pray justice will prevail. I won’t stop seeking answers. I just want justice for my daughter.”

On June 30 last year, 21-year-old Kamal died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) from injuries sustained after falling off the Ferris wheel. Two other individuals who shared the same seat with Kamal were also seriously injured.

Since the accident, the police, Ministry of Employment, Ministry of Public Works, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) have been investigating. However, a year later, no one has been charged.

Last month, the ODPP stated that after a thorough review of the investigation file, it had sent a letter to the Director CID and the Ministry of Employment on January 4, 2024, with recommendations to complete their parallel investigations and submit the file for further analysis. The ODPP has yet to receive any corresponding file from the police and is currently waiting for a full report and completed investigation.

It is understood that the owner of the Ferris wheel company has left the country.

Minister for Home Affairs Pio Tikoduadua has expressed understanding of the family’s concerns and assured that necessary action would be taken. “Let me follow through with CID, I need to know how far the investigation has gone,” he said. “I understand the family’s concern. I have to talk to the Police Commissioner on the progress of the investigation.”

In light of the incident, event and festival organizers have chosen to exclude Ferris wheels from their events to ensure the safety and well-being of attendees.

At her family home in Dilkusha, Nausori, Ms Wati is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her youngest daughter. Despite her pain, she vows to stay strong for her remaining children and grandchildren.

“I don’t need money, I just want justice for my daughter. That’s it,” she said. “Kamal loved to put on make-up and dress herself up. She would have been here today, married and fulfilling her dreams, but she’s gone.”

Recent visits by officers have yielded no solid updates on the progress of the investigation.

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

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