Cops fire tear gas, rubber bullets during confrontation with ECD squatters

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Officials of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) today went to the village of Success, East Coast Demerara (ECD) to have discussions with a number of persons who were squatting on State land.

Police ranks had accompanied the officials to ensure that there was no breach of peace.

But according to a statement from the Guyana Police Force (GPF), during the engagement, “persons became aggressive and hostile towards the Officials and the Police Ranks and began throwing a bombardment of missiles at them.”

The GPF said the aggressive behaviour continued despite the police calling on them to desist from such activities.

“As a result, the Police resorted to the use of Tear Smoke and Rubber Bullets to maintain Law and Order,” the GPF said.

Subsequent to the shots, the crowd brought forward a man who was injured by the rubber bullets.

He was escorted to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where he is receiving medical attention. His injuries are not regarded as life threatening, the GPF said.

Meanwhile, in a statement from GuySuCo, squatters were reminded that those lands belong to the State and they were urged to immediately desist from occupying them.

GuySuCo explained that it is “currently in the process of reviving its operations at East Demerara and the squatting on these lands is hindering the land preparation process.”
“Additionally, a number of fields in the cultivation, house the Corporation’s Germplasm collection which is vital for the Corporation’s Cane Breeding Programme,” the company added.

It noted too that some of these fields have been vandalised by the squatting activities resulting in the destruction and or loss of material developed over a decade of scientific research in variety improvement, therefore setting back the development of better yielding varieties by a number of years.