(Trinidad Guardian) Acting Attorney General and Member of Parliament for Laventille West Fitzgerald Hinds was given an unceremonious bath with flood water on Tuesday by constituents in Beetham Gardens and chased from the area.
But in an almost immediate response, at least one MP and other social media users who viewed footage on a CNC3 news report and other photos on social media condemned the attack and expressed outrage by the disrespect shown to the government minister.
MP for Moruga/Tableland Lovell Francis stated: “So your MP comes to visit you in a time of crisis and a UNC activists encourages you to disrespect him in the most vile of ways. And all of your problems are solved. Mission accomplished.”
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Avinash Singh described the attack as “very unfortunate.”
The PNM’s D’Abadie/Omeara group commenting on the incident said: “Our Members of Parliament work day and night to ensure representation of the highest order for constituents.
We’ve seen the tireless work by our Member of Parliament here in D’abadie/O’Meara.
As such we wish to condemn the disrespectful behaviour of some residents of Beetham Gardens to their MP Fitzgerald Hinds of Laventille West. We take great observation of such behaviour of those wearing yellow t-shirts who choose to accept this behaviour. We must be ever mindful of those we allow to influence our actions as a people.
One of the attackers, had what appeared to be bottle of beer, in his hands as they taunted and splashed flood water on Hinds.
Hinds and local government councillor for the area, Akil Audian, had gone to the area to see the effect of the steady rain and flooding when residents became irate and complained about the lack of representation by the two representatives.
Over 40 homes in the area where affected, residents said.
Residents say this is the third time for the year they were affected by floods and blamed a recently constructed cylinder on the nearby Beetham highway for causing their woes.
During an interview with Guardian Media, Hinds and the councillor were drenched with a bucket of flood water.
Hinds told the residents that there will be consequences for their actions.
“I am not allowing this to happen.
I came to the community to help those affected,” he said.
His words did not deter the residents, who threw buckets of water at him. Hinds and Audian ran to safety.
Speaking afterwards, Beetham resident Anderson Wilson said the residents were unhappy with the type of representation by the Government.
“We are upset over the way things are happening, this is the third time for the year, we are faced with floods,” he said.
Wilson justified the actions by the residents saying it was their way of expressing how they feel.
Meanwhile, Audain said he will not be deterred form lending assistance to Beetham residents.
“I am the representative and my oath of office is no fear or favour. I serve a higher being who is God. I will be going back into the area to continue my duty,” Audain told the Express yesterday.
He told the Express that none of the residents who were affected by the flooding were part of the group which attacked him and Hinds.
In fact, he said, flood-affected residents reached out to him via telephone and Facebook to denounce the actions of the other villagers.
“From last night, and even before the incident was shown on the news, my phone has been ringing. I’ve gotten messages from residents on Facebook apologising for what had happened. The residents who were affected asked not to let the incident hamper them from getting assistance,” Audain said.
Asked if he filed a police report about the attack, he said he did not.
Audain has been Councillor for the area since 2010.
He said this is the first time such an incident has happened to him.