Superwoman is alive
Before Monday night, Bibi Samaroo was just another resident of the sprawling, new housing development at Diamond, East Bank Demerara. But her heroics on that night have catapulted her into the news and instant fame. This newspaper’s issue yesterday, showed the young mother of two smiling self-deprecatingly from her hospital bed where she lay recovering after an operation to remove two bullets from her body, seemingly unaware of the magnitude of her actions.
Mrs Samaroo was at home with her two children when an armed bandit attempted to enter the house. In what could only be described as a dangerous move, she fought to keep the intruder out, resulting in him firing not one but two shots into her body. Fighting with an armed bandit is among the most reckless things any person could do. It is ill-advised. Security experts usually recommend life preservation; letting the material things go. But Mrs Samaroo was not thinking of what she might lose if her home was robbed. As she told her husband, her thoughts were on protecting her children from harm.
It was that protective instinct that aroused her fierceness, made her fearless and quite possibly confused her attacker. A man holding a gun does not really expect opposition from an unarmed person, particularly if it’s a woman. Mrs Samaroo’s unassuming looks obviously hid her inner tigress and the very deserving ‘S’ on her chest. Superwoman is alive. Surely only a caped crusader could engage such clear and present danger and live to tell the tale.
While Mrs Samaroo’s bravery is to be lauded, the warning to other women is ‘do not try this at home’ or anywhere else for that matter. Mrs Samaroo is recuperating in hospital with damage to her breast, liver, stomach and lungs. Her story has a chance of ending well. No one else’s is guaranteed.
What is also not guaranteed is the security of citizens of this country. Faced with a largely ineffectual police force, people have spent/are spending millions of dollars on security systems, hundreds of tons of iron-grille work, razor wire, iron and wooden bars countrywide, wherever they can afford it, so that they can actually sleep at night. Home invasions continue nonetheless. Determined robbers will do their utmost to get past bars and grilles and citizens have been blindsided while entering their homes, or as in the case of Mrs Samaroo, may have a door open.
Diamond and its neighbouring village Grove, a section of which is also a new housing development, are particular hotspots and beacons for common thieves and break-and-enter specialists. These schemes stretch for miles from the East Bank Demerara public road, taking up a huge expanse that was once sugar cane plantation land.
Hundreds of homes have been built in these two areas over the past decade and in addition, many city businesses, including commercial banks have opened branches in proximity. Government has been particularly proud of the Diamond housing development, touting it at every possible forum and announcing plans to afford it township status. However, not too much, if any, attention has been paid to the security of the area. Over the years, countless residents have had their homes broken into or building materials stolen, while they were away at work and even while they were at home. There have been assaults and murders and common ‘choke and rob’ crimes perpetrated on the hapless citizens.
It should be noted that all of the businesses have been built on the outskirts – the East Bank highway. Though it was clearly planned this way, security would have been a huge issue for business persons if they had to venture deep into Diamond to invest. The fact that there is no town centre, no legal commercial activity area within Diamond itself, means there is less of a chance of private security guards acting as deterrent to would-be bandits. And of course, there is no police station inside the housing development.
Police patrols, therefore, should be a must. A police patrol would have prevented the invasion of the Samaroo home. This is an area that needs the urgent attention of the police force.