Advice sought over Mon Repos family’s claim of police assault

More than a month after reports were made against police accused of invading the premises of a Mon Repos, East Coast Deme-rara family, injuring several persons during a row over music, the matter has been sent for legal advice.

Contacted for an update on the matter, Divisional Commander Calvin Brutus, recently told Stabroek News that the police have since wrapped up their investigation into the matter and the file was dispatched for legal advice, which will determine the way forward.

Krishna Ralph, owner of Krishna Ralph Establish-ment, a mechanic workshop situated at Lot 113 Block CC, Mon Repos, ECD, where the incident occurred, had related to this newspaper that he held a Christmas party on the evening of December 22 for his employees at his premises.

However, he retired to bed early since he was unwell and does not consume alcohol, leaving his wife, children and other relatives to celebrate with the employees.

His daughter, Pratima Ralph, had explained that the following day, at around 1.20 am, a group of men, including her brother Deodat Ralph, brother-in-law Deokumar Inderjit, cousin Gautam Bissoon and the disc jockey (DJ) (one of the employees who is known as ‘Boy’), were standing outside the premises to see a guest off, when a vehicle loaded with police officers passed and ordered them to either take off the music or lower the volume.

“The police pass and they told them, ‘You either take it off or you lower it down’ but it wasn’t really loud. So the boys them say that you know wah, is late, so they gun take it off. Them (police) seh alright. The system was at the back (of the yard) so by time they walk from the road to go in there, the police go and they come back. They come in (the yard) with one speed, so I was by the gate because the gate was open so I was going to lock it. So when I see them (police) stop I couldn’t lock the gate on them,” Pratima had related.

She said that three police officers, two of whom were dressed in uniform and one plain clothes rank, exited the vehicle and barged into the yard.

The two uniformed ranks were armed, Pratima said. The driver remained seated in the vehicle. “They walk in straight to the back and they tell my cousin (Bissoon) and the DJ (‘Boy’) to take it (the music) off and my cousin was like, ‘We taking it off, we taking it off’, and it did already cut off right,” Pratima said.

She had further explain-ed that the plain clothes rank then began to disconnect the wires for the music system.

At this point she said, the men and police were involved in a scuffle.

During the process, Pratima had said that the police officer with the loaded gun cranked the said gun and allegedly started to gun butt her relatives.

Pratima said her mother, Vijaianti Ralph, intervened and try to part the men but she too was hit about her body. “…Because they were hitting him (Bissoon) with the gun and they start hitting her (Vijaianti) with the gun and after the ordinary clothes one see she (Vijaianti) is getting it and not him (Bissoon), he grabbed her and pushed her into one of the machines,” Pratima said.

However, despite this, she said Vijaianti still held onto Bissoon.  She said that when a relative attempted to pick Vijaianti up, one of the officers grabbed onto him and two shots were fired.

Pratima said while the police are claiming that the gun accidentally went off during the scuffle, this is not the case.

After the incident escalated, Inderjit rushed into the house to wake up Krishna. “Because they (the police) start shooting up and the kids (Krishna’s grandchildren) were around and that’s when all of them hold onto my brother (Deodat). They vice him and they start dragging him. Buss up his mouth, drag him out of the yard. Vice him and drag him,” Pratima said.

After Deodat fell on the roadway, they loosed him and held onto Bissoon and placed him into the police vehicle.

Pratima said when Inderjit and ‘Boy’ went to the Beterverwagting Police Station to check on Bissoon, they too were arrested. As a result, neighbours and Krishna subsequently went to the station to check on the men but they were sent away.

She said minutes after, they received a call from a female who asked to inform Krishna that the men were placed on bail.

When Krishna went to post bail for the men, he too was arrested. When he enquired for what, he was told illegal possession of ammunition. He was held and released several hours later.

It remains unclear if any actions have been taken against the ranks involved.

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