I must profusely thank well-known attorney-at-law Mr Mursalene Bacchus for his kind and compassionate gesture to offer his services pro bono in an ongoing uphill battle to free a cow calf improperly and illegally impounded at the No 51 Police Station.
Immediately after his benevolent gesture appeared in the press, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Jairam Ramlakhan offered a damage mitigating response whereby he claimed that the “disputed” calf will be auctioned off. However, to date no effort has been made to do so.
However, I wish to highlight a few points. Firstly, the calf is not ‘disputed’, no one is claiming it. That is the reason why Section 61(1) is invoked. Further-more, the same Section 61(1) (a) states that, “an animal remaining unclaimed for 7 days, may be sold after due notice of sale for 7 days”. It must be noted that 7 days have passed since Mr Ramlakhan’s letter in the media.
Furthermore, this would seem to suggest that this subsection overrides the unclaimed period of 3 months after which “unclaimed property or property found and remained unclaimed” may be advertised for 14 days and then sold. It is pellucid that Section (a) applies to ‘unclaimed animals’ and this makes it conclusive that the calf should have been disposed of according to Section 61 (1)(b) months ago. This is the humane aspect of the law which seeks to avoid cruelty to ‘unclaimed’ animals impounded. However, our law enforcers were blind to this, even though the Minister of Public Security was aware of the plight of this calf since October, as well as officers from the Divisional Commander downwards.
We are still waiting expectantly to see the advertisement for the said auction which was due months ago.
Lastly, the persons who are caring for this animal by providing feed and water took great offence at Mr Ramlakhan’s claim in his letter that, “the ranks are doing their level best to ensure the proper upkeep of the animal”. It is the opposite! The police at No 51 Police Station never cared for this animal; even a quantity of bran and a bucket which a Good Samaritan took there for the calf went missing. This is unforgivable! Can you imagine that this stuff was stolen right in front of the eyes of the police? Mr Gobin Harbhajan, Mr Gladwin Abdulla and others feed and water this animal on a daily basis not the police. Medical assistance for the calf was sought and given through the intervention of Mr Harbhajan. The police neglected to do so despite seeing that the calf’s leg was broken and it was in deep and agonizing pain.
The maltreatment of the vulnerables of our society continues. This weekend is Christmas and the testing of the morals of the Guyana Police Force continues.