A handyman succumbed to his injuries on Sunday evening, just over a day and a half after he was allegedly beaten by a gang of men at Industry, East Coast Demerara and then placed in a police lock-up without medical attention.
Dead is Hitram Ramchand, 39, of Lot 51 Industry Crown Dam, whose family is accusing the police of bearing some responsibility for his death.
The fatal beating occurred just after midnight on Saturday morning, while Ramchand was returning home from a wake.
A source told Stabroek News that the row stemmed from gambling as “there was some disagreement as to who would have won and who owe who and a disagreement erupted followed by a fight.”
Ramchand was reportedly attacked by a group of six men, who dealt him several lashes about his body. He was struck mostly to the head. He succumbed to his injuries around 7 pm on Sunday at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) while receiving medical attention.
Divisional Commander Calvin Brutus confirmed that four persons are currently in police custody in connection with the crime. Thus far, he said, the suspects have been blaming each other for the crime.
Brutus also noted that the suspects all show signs of injuries from a fight. “There was a fight indeed and he [Hitram] was allegedly struck with a chair to his head,” he said.
Pooran Ramchand, father of the dead man, told Stabroek News that Hitram left home on Saturday evening to attend a wake in the community. “Whilst coming back home, meh son [Hitram] see some boys gambling and drinking on the road and he stop because he reach up one of he cousin who was with them,” Pooran explained. He said the men had a conversation and an argument ensued and Hitram was severely beaten. “Six men beat this man. Lash he with bicycle to he head, bruk up chair pun he head and whatever,” Pooran added.
Denied medical treatment
Pooran is of the belief that his son’s life could have been saved if he was allowed to seek medical attention immediately after the attack. “The police mek meh son dead. If they did carry the bai to the hospital the same night, he woulda get medical treatment and still be alive,” he charged.
The father related to this newspaper that following the incident, Hitram was taken to the Sparendaam Police Station by a friend, despite being severely injured.
He was later placed in the lock-up and granted $20,000 station bail. “Them seh it was a fight so he and them got to go on bail,” he said.
Pooran explained that despite numerous appeals to the police to have Hitram receive medical attention, he was placed in the lock-up and was not taken to the hospital until Sunday evening.
The family also accused the police of giving priority to two suspects in the murder, who received medical attention. One of the suspects is reportedly the son of a prominent lumberyard owner.
Pooran said early on Sunday morning he was contacted by the police, who told him that Hitram was there. “I seh man is not nothing serious, they keep the man [Hitram] Saturday night and whole day Sunday and then til Sunday afternoon they chain [handcuff] he hand and foot and carry to hospital and lef he,” he explained. “They lock up me son [Hitram] wuh badly beaten and they send the two ‘strong man’ wah nothing isn’t really wrong with to get medical,” he lamented.Dead: Hitram Ramchand