With no recent word on the investigation into the death of their daughter, Sheema Mangar’s parents say there is a continuing disinterest in the case by the authorities.
“They don’t care. Look how they left the [DNA] sample behind. She is a citizen of this country but like she don’t have rights. This is not fair,” said Radica Thakoor, who along with her husband, Lalbachan Mangar, have been publically expressing their frustrations with the pace of the police investigations.
Thakoor said a letter was sent to acting Police Commis-sioner Leroy Brumell, on January 12, seeking information about the investigation, but they are yet to receive so much as an acknowledgement letter.
A letter to Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack was sent around the same time and two weeks ago Thakoor got a response. An emotional Thakoor showed this newspaper a letter from DPP, dated February 21, 2012. She explained that she received the letter about two weeks ago and was shocked when she read the contents.
The letter acknowledged that a letter dated January 11 was received and stated that the DPP was not responsible for investigations. “The police are solely responsible for investigations and the sending of samples for analysis is a part of investigations to be done by the police. The police therefore would be in a better position to say if the samples were sent overseas and if the results came. I have no knowledge if the results came back,” Ali-Hack stated.
According to Thakoor, who was near tears, she had written to the DPP since at one time the case file was sent to her for advice and she had related to the family that the samples taken by the police were never sent overseas for testing.
In January, the Guyana Police Force admitted that a hair sample in the case that was to be taken to Barbados for testing in October 2010 was left behind by a policeman, before eventually being dispatched to Bridgetown in August last year. It said the results were being awaited.
It is unclear if disciplinary action was taken against the errant officer or when the police are expecting the lab results from Barbados.
According to Thakoor, as the time passes, the investigation has gotten “poorer and poorer” while the family’s frustration at the sloth of justice is increasing. She said that at no time since the incident have the police updated them on the progress of the investigation. With all the publicity that the case has attracted, she had expected that the police would have been working hard to ensure the person who killed Mangar was caught, she added.
Thakoor said she and her husband are doing everything in their power to tackle those responsible for ensuring that they get justice, but to no avail. She questioned who they should turn to if the DPP takes little interest and the Police Commissioner does not even reply to a letter outlining their concerns.
Sheema Mangar, 20, chased after the man who stole her mobile phone on the evening of September 10, 2010, in the city. The perpetrator jumped into a car and ran her down. The woman was dragged from the Bedford Methodist Church at Camp Street and North Road to the intersection of Camp and Church streets. She died hours later at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital from a ruptured spleen, which was one of the many injuries she sustained.
Acting on information, police had held a suspect and impounded his car. However, several days later, the man was released. During the course of the investigation, a piece of fabric and a strand of hair were found beneath the vehicle.