Family of Boonton slaying victim fights for custody of her two sons

10/05/2011

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BOONTON — The Boonton family of slaying victim Nazish Noorani is pressing a legal battle to gain custody of her two young sons.

Noorani, 27, was shot on a Boonton street Aug. 16, allegedly the victim of a conspiracy by her husband, Kashif Parvaiz, 26, of Brooklyn, and an accomplice, Antoinette Stephen, 27, of Billerica, Mass. Since her funeral four days later, the boys have been staying in Brooklyn with their paternal grandparents, Shafiq and Talat Hassan, according to the Nooranis’ attorney, Freda Khan.

Khan today called that arrangement “detrimental to the well-being” of Riyaan, 5, and Shayan, who is 2 but will turn 3 later this month.

“We believe they are being subjected to emotional and psychological harm,” Khan said. “We definitely know that they (the paternal family) are brainwashing the kids and alienating them against the maternal family.”

During a hearing in Brooklyn Family Court this week, Khan said, she told the court Riyaan has become “extremely withdrawn and fearful” and wouldn’t play with other children at a memorial service held for his mother in Boonton 40 days after her death.

The attorney quoted the boy as telling the other children, “If I would leave my seat, they would kill me the way they killed my mother.”

Khan asked Judge Michael Katz to grant the Nooranis temporary custody of the boys. The attorney said there is a “history of criminal misconduct and a history of domestic violence” in the Hassan family.

The judge refused, saying he will rule on the application after he learns more about the situation. Katz scheduled a hearing for Oct. 24.

Katz also ruled that the boys must be allowed to visit their family in Boonton on weekends, starting this Friday.

Kaleem Noorani, the victim’s brother, called the visitation ruling “a little progress.”

The Brooklyn family had previously refused to let the Nooranis take the children for visits, the brother said.

“We were told we could come and see them and then leave,” Kaleem Noorani said, adding that any more comments on the case must come from the attorney.

At the Hassan home in Brooklyn, a woman who identified herself as Parvaiz’s sister said the family “has nothing to say” about the case. Attorney Indra Pal, who is representing the Hassans in the custody case, declined to comment on the allegations, but said the Hassans are "treating the children well."

"Everyone will have their day in court, and each and every allegation will be answered," she said. "We all want to do what's best for the children in this tragic situation."

Both Pal and Kahn said they were pleased that an attorney, Dawn Post, has been appointed to represent the boys' interests. Post will observe the boys at the homes of both families.

The Nooranis are seeking a temporary custody order which would allow the boys to live with their family on Church Street in Boonton, the home where their mother grew up and the present home of their grandfather, Muhammad Noorani; Kaleem Noorani; another uncle, Fahim Noorani, and his wife, Asma Begum.

Khan said the paternal family has not been granted custody of the children.

“The kids have with been with them since the funeral and the judge doesn’t want to disturb the status quo,” she said.

Khan said the family “takes issue” with that decision. “It’s not in the children’s best interest to stay in that household for one more day, let alone the next three weeks,” she said.

As for getting permanent custody of the children, Khan said that can’t be done until their father’s criminal case is resolved. He has been accused of murder and related charges and is being held at the Morris County jail on $3 million bail. His case has been referred to a grand jury.

Khan declined to elaborate on the Hassan’s family’s alleged “criminal misconduct,” saying she expects those issues to be discussed at the hearing on Oct. 24.