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Family of Chatham grandmother Harjit Chaggar forever tormented at her brutal murder by Sani Globe shop workers Mohammed Islam and Murshed Miah

By Lynn Cox

The heartbroken son of murdered pensioner Harjit Chaggar has said he will be forever tormented by his mother's death.

Kuldish Chaggar, 47, spoke exclusively about the six months of horror and trauma his family have endured after her brutal killing in Chatham.

His comments come after shop workers Mohammed Islam, 28, of Windmill Road, Gillingham, and Murshed Miah, 38, of Wheeler Street, Maidstone, were yesterday found guilty of murder.

Harjit Chaggar was found dead in a shop in Chatham

Mr Chaggar revealed he was planning a surprise party to celebrate his beloved mother's 70th birthday just two months after she went missing.

The civil servant, who lives in Chatham, told how he did everything he could to find his mother when she vanished on Monday, September 2 last year.

"She had never gone missing before," said Mr Chaggar. "I was pulling my hair out. That first night she went missing was horrible - I was stumped.

"I kept ringing her home. I even went to the hospital in case anything had happened to her. I searched everywhere, but I tried to block out the feeling that something was wrong."

He and his two sisters listened to harrowing evidence during an eight-week trial at Canterbury Crown Court.

At some points, he found it too traumatic to listen to the detail of what happened to his mother and had to leave the courtroom in tears.

Harjit Chaggar's grieving son Kuldish

The decomposing body of Mrs Chaggar, of Hillside Road, was discovered in the basement of the Sani Globe food store, in Luton Road, with severe head and chest injuries 12 days after she vanished.

It is believed the retired machinist lay in the basement bleeding to death for up to six hours after being thrown threw a hatch.

The worst injury was a severed spinal cord and other injuries which, according to a pathologist's report, were usually associated with serious road crash or falls from a great height.

The motive is not known as detectives admit they might never uncover why Mrs Chaggar was murdered.

Harjit Chaggar's murderers Mohammed Islam and Murshed Miah

Mr Chaggar said he has no feelings about the defendants, but is angry they lied to him when he was looking for his mother.

"Why did they lie to me?" he asked. "I was just looking for my mum. We were just looking for hope. It does my head in.

"It goes round and around my head. Why? If only she had just crossed the road to go home. I've thought it thousands of times."

He said the time since her death has taken its toll.

Police outside the Luton shop where Harjit Chaggar's body was found

Mr Chaggar said: "I went from planning her holiday to India to planning a surprise 70th birthday party for her to her going missing and me trying to find her, to her body being found and then in December I had to arrange her funeral and cremation.

"I was even going to decorate her bedroom as a surprise while she was in India we were looking forward to it, but it was all just gone. It was snatched away from us - everything was gone.

"We wanted justice, for these were the people who did it, but they should not have done - my mum would never have hurt anyone.

"You don’t realise what a cruel world we live until something like this happens to you. What horrible people there are out there."

"You just never expect anything like that to happen to your mum - she had another 15 or 20 years in her."

A CCTV image of Harjit Chagger in Luton High Street before she vanished
Harjit Chaggar with granddaughter Hannah on her 18th birthday
Mourners gather at the the Sikh Temple in Rochester for Harjit Chaggar's funeral

Islam and Miah were also found guilty of preventing Mrs Chaggar's lawful burial or cremation along with their boss Abdul Hannan, 44, and another shop worker, 27-year-old Rasad Miah.

The jury failed to reach a murder verdict for Hannan and the judge directed jurors to return a not guilty verdict. The Crown Prosecution Service said it will not seek a retrial.

All four defendants were remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Tuesday, May 20.
Murshed Miah, of Wheeler Street, Maidstone; Islam, 28, of Windmill Road, Gillingham; Hannan, 44, of Aldon Close, Maidstone and Rasad Miah, 27, of Otway Street, Chatham, denied the charges.

They will be sentenced on Tuesday, May 20.

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