15 charged over blocking of Ituni road

A man was fined and 14 others were released on bail after they were charged yesterday with the willful obstruction of the sole roadway stretching 36 miles between Linden and Ituni.

The charges stemmed from arrests made by police early Tuesday morning at a road block erected at Ituni in protest by residents and bus drivers who ply the Kwakwani/Linden route over the unsatisfactory state of the road. The names of the 15 charged were not readily available.

The accused, who included a 14-year-old boy, were arraigned at the Christianburg Magistrate’s Court, where one man pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $10,000 by Magistrate Clive Nurse. The others, who were represented by attorneys Basil Williams, Khemraj Ramjattan and James Bond, were released on $5,000 bail each and were given October 2 as their return court date.
Saying they were fed up that no action has been taken by the government to fix the road for almost a year, the disgruntled residents last Thursday posted two road blocks with logs—one just north of Ituni, blocking traffic from Linden and another just south of the village, blocking traffic from Kwakwani, Aroaima and other Upper Berbice River areas.

Police had reported the arrest of 10 men and four women who were involved in the blocking of the roadway at Ituni at about 4:15am on Tuesday. Police also said that with the support of machinery from the Ministry of Works, they managed to remove the logs used to create the blockage.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Police Force yesterday refuted allegations in the Kaieteur News’ story headlined “16 persons arrested during early morning raid,” in which it was reported that the police ranks were “dragging people out and beating them because they refuse to go” and that “ranks were armed with cutlasses” during the police operation at Ituni.

“These statements attributed to “a source in the area” can only be construed as aimed at besmirching the image of the Guyana Police Force as nothing like that occurred,” police said.

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