A Corentyne farmer is thankful that he managed to escape injury after gunmen trying to steal his livestock in the wee hours of Saturday opened fire on him after he raised an alarm.
According to reports, between 3 am and 3.30 am at Whim, bandits entered a pen with a herd of sheep and goats and managed to bind and remove six of them before one bleated alarmingly, waking farmer Vikeshwar Permaul.
The man raised an alarm and he along with several neighbours armed with cutlasses gave chase, retreating at first when the gunmen fired several rounds at them, but then proceeding in hot pursuit.
Permaul recalled that his mother left for the market after which his father locked the gates and returned to the house. Not long after, the man said he heard one of his lambs bleating which he at first ignored, and only decided to check on his livestock when his goats made an alarming sound. The man said as he got out of bed he asked his father to check on the animals while he peeped through a window, only to see two men in the pen.
“We start holler out for thieves,” he said, to alert his neighbours, who quickly armed themselves and rushed to his aid. “We didn’t know they had gun and they fired at us,” he said, adding that they continued to pursue the men. The men continued to fire at them, Permaul said but “We stayed a distance behind, so none bullet didn’t get to catch us. But it looked like they were shooting in the air too.”
The man said he chased the bandits until they reached the savannahs where he grazed his animals. Incidentally the car that had taken his mother to market was returning so he stopped it and continued to give chase until the gunmen crossed over a trench. Permaul said when he reached that point he found his bound animals and he picked them up and returned home. The man then reported the matter at the Whim Police Station and was to return at 9.3 0am. According to Permaul, police wanted him to return with the goats to take pictures but because of the lengthy procedure, he refused. He said his nanny goats are heavily pregnant and due to give birth soon and he did not want to add further stress to the animals. Instead, he said he asked police to take the pictures of the herd in their pen but they have not responded.
The man told this newspaper that it is likely that the bandits had his premises under surveillance and entered when his mother left for the market.
Police investigations are ongoing.