Upper Corentyne man critical after allegedly shot by undercover police

Mahesh Brijpaul

An Upper Corentyne man has since been admitted at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital in a critical condition after he was allegedly shot by police on Thursday last around 9.30 pm. The police had initially claimed that the man was injured after he was involved in a shoot-out with ranks, however, the lawmen are now alleging that the man was shot when he attempted to escape after he was discovered with a quantity of marijuana.

Mahesh Brijpaul, 25, of Gurrpersaud Avenue, Number 79 Village, Corentyne, has remained in the Intensive Care Unit of the New Amsterdam Public Hospital after undergoing an emergency surgery on Friday. The man sustained a gunshot injury to his back along with other injuries and bruises about his body, Stabroek News was told.

His mother, Vanita Dindial, explained that her son is presently handcuffed to his bed as he remains under arrest at the hospital.

His family is calling for a thorough investigation to be carried out after they were told many different stories by various lawmen as to what led to Brijpaul being shot.  

Commander of ‘B’ Division, Paul Langevine, when contacted yesterday stated that an investigation has been launched into the matter. He confirmed that no rank has been placed under close arrest since the investigation commenced.

Meanwhile, sources have since told Stabroek News that the man was shot by undercover Georgetown ranks from the Guyana Police Force narcotics unit who were supposedly carrying out an operation in the area.

According to residents in the area, Brijpaul arrived in the Linepath, Upper Corentyne area where he parked his motorcycle in front of a shop in a street.

According to a police source, the undercover ranks then received information that a bucket which was located next to Brijpaul’s motorcycle on the street had contained ‘weed’. They then began to approach Brijpaul who was standing a distance away from the motorcycle.

The source said, that after Brijpaul noticed one of the undercover police carrying a gun he began to run after which about five shots were fired in his direction, one hitting him in his back. The police source confirmed, that the man was then beaten and taken to the Skeldon Public Hospital in a white canter by the undercover police.

It is unclear if the undercover lawmen while approaching Brijpaul identified themselves as police officer.

However, residents in the area said that about five men who they now know were undercover police arrived in a white canter and entered the nearby shop where they purchased XL energy drinks. According to the residents, one of the men told persons that he was from Kitty, Georgetown after being asked if they were new to area.

The source claims that some 9 pounds of marijuana was found in the bucket. 

However, Commander Langevine yesterday refused to confirm whether the man was shot by Georgetown ranks. While stressing that the allegation was made against the “police” he noted that ‘B’ Division was conducting an investigation into the matter.

Meanwhile, the man’s mother explained that initially, the police who had brought her son to the Skeldon Public Hospital had informed her that her son and several lawmen were involved in a shootout which led to him being injured. “I want to know if he [son] shot at them, shouldn’t a ballistic report in the investigation show if he [son] was shooting. I’m waiting for something and nothing, nobody ain’t coming to us.”  

She said, other than the gunshot injury on his back, her son sustained injuries to his belly, both sides of his stomach, knees, toes and other parts of his body.

She said that her son is not a holder of a firearm. “He is a mechanic, mason, heavy duty machine operator and driver, what will he do with a gun?” the woman questioned. 

“I tried all the [police] station in Berbice from Skeldon, Whim, New Amsterdam, and so far they are telling me that they are investigating but they are not coming up with anything as yet.”

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