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85-year-old NRI woman burnt to death in Durban

Ponniamma Moodley, 85, a resident of Chatsworth, has been allegedly murdered in an area dominated by Indians.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Durban
UPDATED ON APR 02, 2008 12:49 PM IST

An octogenarian Indian-origin woman was allegedly murdered during the weekend, sending shockwaves across the community here.

Ponniamma Moodley, 85, a resident of Chatsworth, an area dominated by Indians succumbed to burn injuries at hospital over the weekend when her house caught fire.

"Police were called to investigate Moodley's death after hospital authorities suspected foul play," media reports said.

Captain Edmund Singh of the local Chatsworth Police said that they had already questioned family members in connection with Moodley's death but no arrests had been made.

"We have questioned the daughter and granddaughter of the deceased", he said, adding that further inquiry into the matter was on.

The death of the aged women has raised an alarm within the community, with some people expressing their concerns about the neglect and abuse of the elderly in the country.

"We in the Indian community have always prided ourselves in taking care of our elders but with the changing economic and social climate, it seems we are forgetting our traditions and cultures", said Alan Nadasen, a local resident.

Another resident, Moga Govender said that many families were finding it difficult to take care of their elderly and Moodley's death under suspicious circumstances gave credence to claims that the younger generation were "neglecting and abusing the elderly."

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