A Strathspey cane cutter and his family were on Sunday night held captive for over two hours by gunmen, who later attacked the Devin’s Hangout Bar and left the bartender with multiple stab wounds.
Ryan Gangaram, who is in his early 30s, was attacked and robbed by five men, four of whom were armed with guns and the fifth with a knife. Gangaram, currently a patient at a private city hospital, underwent surgery yesterday afternoon and was up to late last night in a serious condition.
Gangaram, Devin Persaud told Stabroek News, was stabbed to the left side chest and one of his wrists was also slit. Persaud, the owner of Devin’s Hangout Bar, explained that he had been renting the “off licence” section of his business place to the injured man for just over a year.
The incident, according to Persaud, occurred shortly after 10 pm on Sunday and the armed men spent just over 15 minutes at the bar. Persaud said he was first alerted to the incident at about 10.10 pm. He explained that he was watching television when the shouts from the neighbours of cane cutter Chandrapaul Jaikarran alerted him that something was happening.
Persaud, a member of the Community Policing Group, said that after hearing the shouts from his neighbours, he peeked outside and saw a number of men armed with guns. He pulled out his shotgun and then discharged about five rounds at the men.
By that time, Persaud said, the men had already searched Gangaram’s bar and relieved him of his personal jewellery. Just after he discharged the shots, Persaud recalled, the five men started to run south along the Strathspey road and then west on to the Coldingen Sideline Dam, where they headed south again towards the Railway Embankment Road. The men, Persaud believes, most likely escaped in some sort of transport waiting for them on that road. He further noted that this was the first time his business place or any other in the immediate area had been robbed.
After the robbery, he learnt that the gunmen had also invaded the home of Jaikarran, where they tied up the cane cutter, his wife, a sister-in-law and a friend. Persaud explained that Jaikarran lives just behind his house.
When Stabroek News visited Jaikarran’s home, a neighbour explained that the couple had gone to the Vigilance Police Station to assist with investigations. The neighbour said that around 8 pm they heard a shout from Jaikarran’s home but did not pay attention. “I hear the thing but I say is not nothing and just lef’ it like that. Is not ‘til later I find out that is rob they been getting rob,” the neighbour said.
The neighbour further said that she had learnt from Jaikarran’s wife that just after 8 on Sunday night, five men barged into their home. “She tell me that the men hold them up at gunpoint and then put them to lie down on they belly and tie up they hand and foot… She tell me that the man them ransack the house and pack up a lil money they find in she husband haversack and put in some clothes to and then they lef’ them there and get away. Shortly after the man them get away, she hear gunshots,” the neighbour related.
Investigators, the resident further said, had visited Jaikarran’s home but were unable to find any fingerprints.
In a press release issued yesterday afternoon, police said that at about 8 pm, Jaikarran, 37, was at home with his wife, sister-in-law and a friend when five men entered the home through an open door. The men, police said, four of whom were armed with handguns and the other with a knife, held up the victims and tied them up, after which they ransacked the house and took away jewellery and $11,000 before escaping.
It is suspected, police further reported, that the same men then went to the Devin’s Hangout Bar where the bartender Gangaram was attacked and robbed of his personal jewellery and stabbed to his chest.
Meanwhile, Persaud said that for the last three years he has made several attempts to get a firearm licence from police. However, these attempts have been futile and the man said that a few months ago he was advised to reapply since his last application had been submitted too long ago. “I have been in business for just over 20 years and still they are not issuing me with a firearm licence… I am a member of the Commu-nity Policing Group, so I don’t see why they don’t want to give me a firearm,” a frustrated Persaud told this newspaper.