By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Thurs. Sept. 10, 2020: The South American CARICOM nation of Guyana is reeling from the murders of three teens within days of each other as violence escalated in the West Coast Berbice area of the country Wednesday.
On a day when the postmortem of Isaiah and Joel Henry, the teenage cousins who were discovered murdered over the weekend at Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice, confirmed that they both died from hemorrhage and shock due to multiple wounds, police reported the murder of a 17-year-old boy, who was found with head injuries and chop wounds along the Number 3 back dam.
Dead is Haresh Singh, also known as ‘Raj’ of Lot 8, Number 3 Village, West Coast Village. Guyana media reports that he is the grandson of one of the 7 suspects being held in the murder of Isaiah and Joel. He reportedly had left his home on his motorcycle to attend to his farm in the Backdam of No. 3 Village. Relatives said he later saw smoke arising from the said backdam and sent his 12-year-old brother to enquire, when Singh’s body was discovered lying motionless and bleeding from the nose. His motorcycle was also discovered burnt. He was rushed to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital where he died shortly after. The family said he was the sole breadwinner for his grandparents and two younger siblings.
The third shocking murder in three days comes as protests for justice for the Henry cousins that erupted on Sunday has evolved into a state of lawlessness, with blocked roads, burnt tires, robbery, rape, physical assaults, the burning and damage of property and extortion.
And while the nation mourned the death of the teens, police said they were last night also investigating the murder of 34-year-old Chatterpaul Harripaul of Block BI Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice, which occurred yesterday at Bath Settlement Public Road.
Police said inquiries disclosed that the victim was in his motor vehicle on the Public Road at Bath Settlement when it was observed that he exited the vehicle with a shot gun and discharged one round into the air before discharging three rounds towards a crowd of protesters who were about 60 meters away. As a result of his actions, he was attacked by the crowd and beaten. Police officers, who were some distance away, rushed to the scene where they discovered the victim lying on ground with several injuries about his body. He was subsequently picked up and taken to the Fort Wellington Hospital where he was pronounced dead by a doctor on duty, according to Guyana Newsroom.
This comes as Gladson Henry, the father of one of the boys who was brutally murdered over the weekend, yesterday called on all citizens to desist from such attacks stating: “I am not supporting unmoral protesting because I went out in Number 5 (Village) and I told them straight if you want to protest is our right, let we do it peacefully…We the nation cannot be fighting against one another because this is going on too long. Let we not see this thing as black, white, Chinese or putagee (Portuguese) because if blackman did do this or a Chinese man did do this or any man did do this and if is not my family, I believe that he will have to pay the penalty and not no other people who looked like him and get the texture of hair like him, but the person who committed the act should pay for the crime.”
President of Guyana, Dr. Irfaan Ali, addressed the nation Wednesday, saying the criminals who snuffed the life out of the teens are “barbaric,” and justice will prevail, but the criminals robbing people, beating people and chopping people need to be brought to justice also. He also slammed the new leader of the opposition, Joseph Harmon, for igniting “the situation on the ground.”
“Calling this a struggle against a fraudulent government and oppression tells you the extent to which Mr. Harmon is trying to misuse the circumstances that surround us as a nation,” the President said as he urged the Ethnic Relations Committee (ERC) to investigate Harmon’s statement as “inciteful and filled with hate.”
As the current situation worsens in West Coast Berbice, Guyana’s Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn warned persons against traveling to or through the area yesterday.
“The Joint Services are increasing their efforts to restore calm to the affected areas. Only emergency and essential travel is recommended and that with the support of the police,” Minister Benn said via a press statement on Wednesday afternoon.
The Private Sector Commission, meanwhile, called upon the Commissioner of Police to execute his duties as head of the Guyana Police Force to ensure all efforts are placed into the investigation of this horrendous crime firmly and resolutely, bringing those responsible to justice while condemning all forms of violence. “All political and social leaders of Guyana must urge all citizens to refrain from various acts of violence and damage to public and private property, thereby promoting peace, harmony, and good relations,” the PSC said.
Chairman of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNCR), Volda Lawrence on Wednesday, also condemned the murder of Singh and noted that it is not right to continue killing each other.
“I learnt of the death of a 17-year-old, not so long ago and it is claimed that he is associated with the person in custody. I want to offer my sincere condolences to the family, we’re not a people who kill our children, we’re not a people who maim each other, we’re not barbarians, we’re Guyanese,” Lawrence said in a live video posted on Facebook.