BK Manager charged with murder of colleague

Accused: Michael Sooklall and Victim: Pitamber Sharma

One day after confessing to the murder of 69-year-old Pitamber Sharma, a truck driver attached to BK International, his colleague, 49-year-old Michael Sooklall, has been charged for the crime.

This is according to Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum, who has said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has recommended that Sooklall be charged with the capital offence.

The Guyana Police Force (GPF), in a statement, said “following the post-mortem which concluded Pitamber Sharma died by manual strangulation sometime between March 30 and March 31 at BK’s Quarries, Lower Mazaruni River, police investigations led to the arrest of suspect Michael Sooklall who was today charged for Murder Contrary to Common Law.”

The accused appeared today before Magistrate Chrystal Lambert at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court where the charge was to him and he was not required to plead. The man was subsequently remanded to prison until May 27.

In his confession, Sooklall, a manager at BK Quarry and resident of Perth Village, Essequibo Coast, told detectives that, on the night of March 30, he and Sharma had a misunderstanding after Sharma had accused him of not taking care of the mandir as the caretaker.

Sharma had then threatened to report the issue to the boss in order to have Sooklalll replaced.

This reportedly angered Sooklall, and he retaliated by choking Sharma until he became lifeless. After committing the act, the suspect dragged the body and threw it into the Mazaruni River.

In addition, the suspect took an Inspector of Police and other ranks to the scene, and showed them where the body was thrown.

It was reported that the lifeless body of Sharma, of Independence Street, La Grange, West Bank Demerara (WBD), was last Thursday pulled from the Mazaruni River. Police reports stated that Sharma had last been seen alive at about 18:00h on March 30, but the next morning at about 07:30h, a security guard saw his body floating in the river.

Police had initially stated that Sharma might have drowned, but a post-mortem examination conducted on his remains gave the cause of death as manual strangulation.