It was like any other Friday for the Qila Murthy family in Taveuni. But only this time, their usual happy morning quickly turned into a nightmare with the disappearance of young Chirag Murthy.

From left: Talei Raikadroka. (R) Chirag Murthy (right) with his father Shyam Murthy.

It was like any other Friday for the Qila Murthy family in Taveuni. But only this time, their usual happy morning quickly turned into a nightmare with the disappearance of young Chirag Murthy.

The incident took place a little after noon on November 12, 2021. Chirag is the son of Shyam and Nargis Murthy. Young Chirag had a twin brother named Chahal. The twins were born with autism.

They cannot hear or speak since birth. They were seven years old last year.

Their younger sister was only four years old at the time. Now he goes to kindergarten. Chirag has been missing for almost a year now. However, his father believes that his son is still alive and well.

Chirag is just one of many cases of missing children in Fiji.

Last Saturday, we highlighted the case of Peniana Masuciri Wadei, who mysteriously disappeared in Maui Bay two weeks ago on Constitution Day. Police are still investigating his case.

Another similar case which is still unsolved is that of Talei Kuta Raikadroka of Kalekana in Lami.

In this week’s column, we also highlight her mysterious disappearance three years ago. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the cases of Talei and Chirag are still under investigation. He said that there is no positive result yet for either case.

He added that there was support from the Australian Federal Police, New Zealand Police and the Fiji Federal Bureau of Investigation. Also, interpol colleagues to solve these cases.


A little after noon, Mrs. Murthy realized that young Chirag was missing from their house.

Mr. Murthy was informed of this news by a phone call from his father-in-law while he was shopping with a friend in Nagara.

Recalling the events of that terrifying morning, Mr. Murthy said he had left his home to help his colleague Asif with an iron roofing shop.

He was penniless. Asif took him. Mr. Murthy and Asif had agreed more than a year ago that they would help each other with household chores every week. Since then, they have been closely related to each other.

Asif’s farm is a 30-minute walk from Gila. On the morning of the incident, only Mrs. Murthy and her three children were at home.

She had just fed her three children rice and fish for lunch.

“It was Chirag’s last meal,” Mr. Murthy said.

Later, Mrs. Murthy left the children unattended to collect coconut leaves from behind their house, 50 meters up the hill. The brothers were playing outside. Chahal and his sister were in front of the house, and Chirag was alone behind their house.

“When my wife realized that Chirag was missing, she asked our neighbors and looked for possible places where our son could have gone,” Mr. Murthy said.

“That’s when I got a call from home. My father-in-law asked me if you took Chirag with me to the city. I told him to report it to the police.”

Distraught and with no means of getting home, Mr. Chirag had to wait and find transportation.

As soon as he got home that Thursday, Mr. Chirag searched every possible area for tracks and areas already searched by his wife. He completed his search and returned home around 8 pm.

“I know this place very well, so I looked for areas where I felt my son could go, including the fishing pond,” she said.

Mr. Murthy said the police arrived at their residence around 9 p.m. No search was conducted unless they were interviewed.

The police searched only on Saturday around 10 am. Mr. Murty’s farm, which is about an hour’s ride from Gila town, was also searched. Mr. Murthy and Asif were interrogated by the police.

Mr Murthy said it was unusual for Chirag to disappear without a trace.

He remembered that in some cases the children were left at home without care, while the mother visited her friends and women nearby.

These incidents happened several times as in all these cases Mr. Murthy was called to return home from the farm.

“Once my wife went to the neighboring women and the twins were at home. They were lying on the floor without clothes and there were wet diapers inside the house, including feces,” he recalled.

“The social security department came to our house and saw the children alone. “This happened several times because they were calling me to come home from the farm.”

Mr. Murthy claims that his son was taken from them and is still alive.


Mr Murthy and his family share their home with Mrs Murthy’s brother, wife and child. The Murthys live in one half of the house, and Mrs. Murthy’s brother lives in the other half.

Ms. Murthy’s brother and wife are private people and do not usually keep in touch with their relatives.

Their Qila house is located on a slope about 50 meters above the road level. Mr. Murthy said that it is impossible for his son to leave their home voluntarily.

But their children love to drive.

“If I want to go somewhere, my children don’t even follow me down the road. They stay at home. So how could they get off our driveway which is about 20 meters from the house,” he said.

The incident left Mr Murthy and his wife shaken and devastated. Mr. Murthy lost his appetite that November weekend. The only thing that kept him going was water and the hope of finding his son.

But the pain of losing his son and the possibility of the case not being opened was unbearable. He felt anxious and helpless.

Using media was his other option. On Monday morning, she turned to family friends and neighbors to contact the media.


The castle is mostly hilly and surrounded by grass. There are no creeks or rivers nearby, except for a fishpond located on the hillside.

Gila is home to mainly Indo-Fijians, who are both local and commercial dalo and yagona farmers. These residents also raise sheep, goats and cattle. The mode of transport for some of them to go to their farms is on horseback.

More than 200 families live in the fort, including the nearby iTaukei community.

Mr. Murthy’s family is often shunned by neighbors because of their poor living conditions.

Theirs was not a house that people frequented. But it’s always a different story when people ask for something from them.

Mr. Murthy, 44, is a yagona farmer and his wife is a stay-at-home mother.

They also do gardening in the backyard for their daily livelihood.


Talei Kuta, affectionately known as Pei, was just three years old when she disappeared inside her paternal grandparents’ home in Raikadroka, Kalekana, Lami.

It was Friday night, November 29, 2019. Talei would have been in 1st grade this year. His younger brother Balau is now Vesikula’s age when he disappeared. Fatei’s maternal grandmother, Arieta Ronagato, still believes her grandson is alive.

“I can’t blame anyone else for her disappearance because she disappeared at her paternal grandparents’ house,” Ms Ronagato said.

He has yet to receive any updates from the police on the status of the case. He last had any contact with the Criminal Investigation Department two years ago.

Since the incident, Talei and Balu’s parents, Losalini Lalaia and Waisea Raikadroka, have been separated.

Mr Raikadroka is now remarried and has two children. He lives with his family in Namena, Tailevu. Ms. Lalaia is a casual hairdresser. He now supports his son with the income he earns.

Mrs. Lalaia and her son still live in her mother’s town of Lami Kalekana.

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