Epsom double stabbing victims remembered as kind-hearted, helpful couple

Every Saturday for six years, Herman Bangera would appear at Namaste Indian Restaurant and Bar and spend a couple of hours in his favourite seat, in a corner, to the right of the bar.
Last Saturday, staff at the bar, in south Aucklands Highbrook, noticed he hadnt appeared and worried but put it down to him having errands to run.

It was only on Sunday morning that news broke the 60-year-old and his wife Elizabeth, 55, had both died after being stabbed at their home on the corner of The Drive and Alba Rd in Epsom just after 11:30am on Friday.

LAWRENCE SMITH/STUFF
Detective Inspector Scott Beard names victims in a double fatal stabbing in Auckland's Epsom.

Restaurant owner Gokarna Ghimire said the news left him shocked.


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I was totally shocked. I was upset. I even prayed this morning for my religion to ensure hes at rest and in heaven.


Ghirmire said Herman was like a anggota of the family always generous, always full of encouragement, and never with a negative thing to say.

Bangera was already a regular when Madhav Khanal joined as manager in 2019. He described him as polite, gentle, and kind-hearted.

From his favourite spot to the right of the bar Bangera used to stream 1970s Hindi songs to the restaurants television.

We used to love it, because we were used to these old songs.

If there was cricket on, Bangera would support New Zealand and India as second pick, Khanal said.

Chris McKeen/Stuff
Police at the scene of a double fatal stabbing in Epsom, Auckland.

Garlic prawns were his favourite starter, he would always try and sample something new from the mains' menu, and he would often take his wife home a takeaway.

When the news of their deaths came on Sunday, Bangera said everyone was shattered.

He used to guide us. He was [a] very positive person. He was like our guardian, Khanal said.

Khanal said Bangera never complained about anything going on at home and remembered him showing staff a picture of his son at his graduation, speaking with pride about him starting work.

He was very happy with his family.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff
Police forensics outside the unit where Herman and Elizabeth Bangere died.

On Sunday, Detective Inspector Scott Beard confirmed the incident was family harm-related.

Police have said a man related to the couple remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition.

He remains under Police guard and at this stage Police are not seeking anyone else in connection to this incident.

The man will be formally interviewed by Police when his condition allows, police said in a press release on Sunday.

A fourth person at the scene was a close family friend who was called to the address that morning. Police declined to go into the detail about why the man was called to the scene.


Auckland University of Technology senior lecturer Ranjana Gupta was living next door when the family bought their home in Epsom in 2006.

The two families shared a fence until Guptas family left over Christmas in 2011.

I used to talk to Elizabeth because she worked at Auckland University and I worked at AUT.

I can only say they were very nice people, they were kind-hearted, very helpful. They were always ready to help.

We used to go home over Christmastime to India, and they generally didnt go, so they used to look after our house when we were not there.

The Guptas went on to let the property, but they kept in contact and were always on good terms.


She said they were a very nice family, and she never heard so much of a raised voice or noise from them.

She described the son, Sheal, as a quiet and humble boy.

He was very sort of shy, and whenever I went there or met them I would see him studying or sitting in his room.

To me he seemed very obedient and very humble, sitting quietly and doing the work.

Gupta said the family was concerned about Sheals future and did everything they could to make his studies a success.

Thats why they moved to the Grammar zone, so he could go to [Auckland] Grammar.

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