“Who we gon fight? Who gon back we up?” asked Ramnarine Jagroop saying that he was no longer interested in pursuing the matter. “Everything stay just like dah,” he said pointing out that no one had gotten back to them as promised after the incident. Jagroop noted that the police official who fired the shots has since been removed from the division in an unrelated matter.
On Easter Monday night, police and residents clashed in the West Demerara community and three persons were struck by pellets. Police had said that they were forced to open fire after a crowd – irate after police ordered the music sets to be turned off – attacked them. Residents denied that they had attacked the police. However, persons set tyres alight and dragged a trailer across the road as some protested the detention of several persons responsible for the music sets.
Several persons were beaten, reportedly by angry ranks, during the incident and over a dozen were arrested. Residents made several allegations about the police, including that ranks had demanded money for them to allow the music to continue playing. Following the incident, the police announced that the police Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) had launched an investigation into the incident.
An overseas-based Guyanese, Hansraj Ori, was struck in the neck and abdomen by pellets. A senior police official had informed Stabroek News that a .32 warhead was removed from Ori’s body, suggesting that someone in the crowd, other than the police fired a shot. The official had explained that the police who turned up at the scene on the night of the incident were only armed with shotguns and rifles and one round was discharged at the crowd. He said that that shot would have released multiple pellets and not a warhead.
Residents had told Stabroek News that various promises had been made by regional officials and PPP politicians and a delegation from the village had even visited PPP Presidential Candidate, Donald Ramotar at Freedom House. Ramotar told them to write a report and said that the matter was still being investigated.
Jagroop said that they had sent in the reports to Ramotar but have not received a response to date.
“One set a lang story dem talking,” Jagroop said. He noted that they have not heard anything from the police as well.