There was a distinct police presence at the funeral service of the late Nithia Chinnasamy (47), convicted murderer, alleged drug dealer and gang leader, as scores of mourners came to pay their last respects at the Bethesda Worship Centre, in Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon.
A white casket laid open, revealing a peacefully resting Chinnasamy dressed in white, while his family wept bitterly at its side. In a grey suit, his 19-year-old son, Owen and his 21-year-old daughter Orelda, remained inconsolable. According to family members, Chinnasamy was looking forward to his release, to celebrate his 48th birthday with his family and friends in two weeks’ time, on September 27. Some said he had telephoned them to say he had found God, and was keen to host a family reunion party to show that he had changed his life. He had been looking forward to seeing Orelda and Owen again whom were only 6 and 4 years old, when he left for prison. Close family said they were aware that he still had enemies on the outside, but had not expected that his death would come so soon.
Chinnasamy, the youngest of four siblings, had become well known in his community for his criminal and violent activities in the 1980s and struck fear into the community throughout the 90s, after forming what was known as ‘Nithia’s Gang’. In 1998, he was charged with the murder of 18-year-old Sagendran Claude Arran, after it was said that he had assaulted him to death with a pickaxe handle.
In 2000, Chinnasamy was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 10 years for murder, attempted murder and kidnapping. After 16 years in prison, he was to be released, and had been put on parole where he was allowed to leave the prison in the morning but having to return each evening.
During his parole visits, it was his brother Krish Chinnasamy, who had often picked and dropped him off at prison. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, his brother had been unable to make it, and a friend had offered to take him.
Chinnasamy was killed after he was ambushed by two men dressed in police uniform when his friend had gone to go open the front gate.
His funeral service started at around 10am and tributes by various family members were given. His body would proceed to the Redhill Cemetary where he would be laid to rest.