Six persons, including a teenager, were this morning charged for killing 34-year-old Prettipaul Hargobin called “Roy” who was beaten to death amid protests at Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice (WCB).
Devon Karran also known as “Ricky”, 22, of Bath Settlement; 26-year-old Ricardo Shivlall called “Rico”, of Number Ten Village; 60-year-old Jagdat Khaloo called “One Eye” of Bath Settlement; and 38-year-old Shitohal Shivchand called “Cheeto” of Bath Settlement were jointly charged with murder.
Additionally, a 17-year-old school dropout was also charged with the murder separately.
Meanwhile, Marlon Dharamdai called “Bully”, 35, a cane-cutter of Bath Squatting Area, was also charged separately with the man’s murder. He, along with his 39-year-old wife, Herrwattie Dharamdai, were also charged for possession of firearm without the relevant licence. The wife was placed on $75,000 bail and is slated to return to court on October 7.
Harlall Motilall, 40, self-employed of Bath Settlement, was charged with mischievous damage to property and was placed on $300,000 bail. He will also return to court on October 7.
Those charged with murder will return to court on September 23 when the police are expected to make disclosures.
All of the accused appeared before Magistrate Rabindranauth Singh at the Fort Wellington Magistrate’s Court.
Hargobin, of Bath Settlement, WCB, was on Wednesday, September 9, beaten to death after he reportedly discharged a firearm in the direction of protesters in the community.
According to police reports, 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 shotgun 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, Hargobin was attacked and beaten by the crowd, whom the police said are also residents of Bath Settlement.
Having observed the commotion, police ranks who were some distance away rushed to the scene, where the discovered Hargobin lying on ground with several injuries about his body.
INews understands that after beating the man to death, one of the accused would have picked up the shotgun and taken it home while another destroyed his vehicle.
However, Hargobin’s sister, Ronita, had told INews that she and her brother were first attacked by the protesters before her brother was killed.
She recalled that she was on the Public Road with some friends when her brother came out of with his vehicle and was looking for some guy on a blue motorcycle. She said her brother was upset and crying, but would not tell her what happened to him.
Ronita said she followed her brother in search of the person he was looking for and they ended up meeting persons protesting on the road.
“We asked if anybody see the person on the blue motorcycle and they said ‘no’. Everyone flock around us asking what happened and I don’t know if anybody think we were there to fight but some of them hit up – one of them cuff me to my head. They hit at [my brother] also but I didn’t allow him to fight back… They shut off the vehicle and kept the key. Then he asked for the key to go back home,” she stated.
The distraught sister said that Hargobin then left and as she was trying to get someone to take her to his house, she saw her brother’s vehicle heading back towards the protesters on the Public Road.
“I heard gunshots and then I saw a whole lot of people flock around him. I don’t know what they did to him but I was told he was chopped. I saw them hitting the vehicle and damage it – they torched it and I couldn’t do anything. I asked them to stop hit my brother but it was in vain; nobody there help we…” the woman related.
According to Ronita, she rushed home to get her car to take her brother to the hospital but by the time she returned to the scene, the police was already there and they took him to seek medical attention.
However, Hargobin died before reaching the Fort Wellington Hospital.
She described her brother as loving and supportive, noting that he has never been involved in such a situation.
Hargobin was married with two children. His body is currently at the hospital awaiting a postmortem examination.