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Vijay Boodoo

KEVON FELMINE

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As homicide detectives continue their search for the killers of retired chemist Veji Boodoo and his sons Shreedharshan and Vidharshan, his wife says they were not religious extremists.

An upset Satee Boodoo told Guardian Media yesterday that a newspaper report which suggested her husband was a bomb maker was inaccurate. At her Gasparillo home yesterday, Satee admitted that police previously charged her husband and sons for possession of firearms and ammunition in 2017.

In 2003, a daily newspaper had reported that an extremist group took its team to a secret location and showed chemical compounds used to make chemical and biological weapons.

The newspaper had reported that Special Branch officers interviewed Boodoo, who told them his laboratory at Cuchawan Trace, Debe, could be the same lab that reporters visited.

It also reported that Boodoo was the director of a company called Petro Lab Ltd and that he told police that an Islamic group approached him two and a half years earlier, asking for information on how to make chemical and biological weapons.

A Special Branch investigation found no evidence to support the newspaper report, and then National Security Minister Howard Chin Lee refuted the story.

Satee Boodoo said yesterday: “They were Muslims, and I am a Hindu. They were no extremist. My husband was a chemist who did oilfield work. The guns that they were held for were for their protection. That place they were held, you know the kind of things that go on inside there? What bomb are they talking about? Did anybody find a bomb on him, did a bomb explode anywhere?”

Satee last spoke to Veji and her sons around 9 pm Saturday but on Sunday morning when she called, no one answered the phone. Around 10 am, she went to the shack that they stayed in on their farm along the Connector Road in Reform Village. She met the crutches used by Vidharshan, who lost his right leg in a 2016 vehicle crash, at the front door. As she opened the door, she found Veji, 56, Vidharshan, 30 and Shreedharshan, 24, lying dead with gunshot wounds on their body. Crime scene investigators retrieved 17 spent shells and six rounds of 9mm ammunition at the scene. Even if the men screamed out, there were no houses for several kilometres.

Farmers in the lonely agricultural area are subjected to threats and robberies. There are reports that criminals use lands there for illegal activities. It was for this reason, Satee said, police vehicles used to park at one of the entrances to the area to prevent criminals from entering.

She explained that when her husband retired several years ago, they decided to take up farming and started raring animals at their home. But when neighbours began complaining about the smell, public health inspectors told them that they had to move the farm. It was then they decided to go to Reform Village and would often stay in the shack to oversee the farm.

“When they did not answer, I thought that with all that rain that fell, they were probably sleeping late. The silence was overbearing, and I was also wondering what happened because they continually told me about the things going on there. So they also stay alert. My mind was on it that something happened. There were always the odds that something could happen, but you just think it would not happen to you.”