Citizens urged to avoid travelling to WCB as unrest worsens

Members of the Joint Services on Wednesday battling to control the situation at Anns Grove (APNU/AFC photo)

As the current situation worsens in West Coast Berbice (WCB) where street protests have escalated into violence against innocent persons and acts of vandalism, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn has warned persons against traveling to or through the area.

“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 brutal murders of 16-year-old Isaiah Henry and 19-year-old Joel Henry of WCB have sparked national outrage, resulting in fiery protests, some of which have become violent, with several passersby being robbed and beaten. Several roads have also been blocked over the past three days, preventing commuters from getting to their destinations freely.

On Wednesday morning a 17-year old boy, of Number Three Village, was also found dead in a backdam after he was beaten and chopped about his body.

The victim who has been identified as Haresh Singh, is a relative of one of the suspects in custody in relation to the murders of Joel and Isaiah Henry.

According to the police, “the victim left home on his motorcycle to attend his farm in the Backdam of No. 3 Vilage, West Coast Berbice, sometime after his relatives saw smoke arising from the said backdam and left to enquire when the discovered the body of Haresh Singh lying motionless and bleeding from the nose. His motorcycle was also discovered burnt.”

President Irfaan Ali has since condemned the killing of Haresh, saying: “The criminals who snuffed the lives out of Joel and Isaiah were barbaric in nature. There is no other way to describe it. The criminals who snuffed the life out of Haresh Singh, seventeen years-old are equally barbaric.”

“The criminals who are robbing people, the criminals who are beating people, the criminals who are chopping people, need to be brought to justice also.

“There is no other way to describe this. It is criminality, it has nothing to do with standing up for justice. Raping people’s children, robbing people, trampling upon others’ rights, beating people, damaging property of innocent people, has nothing to do with justice. It is selfish, destructive and a flagrant disregard for the rule of law and the rights of people,” the Head of State added.

The President said that he had “the unfortunate task of speaking to the grandmother and brother-in-law of Haresh, just as I spoke to the parents of Isaiah and Joel and the pain is immense, the pain, and the grief, is immense”.