Where are we headed, dear readers? Two young lives from #3 Village were horrifically snuffed out behind the adjoining Cotton Tree village in West Berbice over the weekend. Unrest then exploded across the solitary Public Road in the Region connecting Georgetown to the Corentyne in reaction to the gruesome murders. Even though Police reacted with alacrity and arrested a total of seven persons, the “unrest” segued into riots as enraged “protestors” robbed and beat persons, destroyed cars, burnt paddy trucks, and created general mayhem against Indian-Guyanese.
Your Eyewitness wondered what was being protested?
And he received the answer when he listened to a tape of PNC Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon declaring to the villagers of #3 Village, West Berbice – from the verandah of the home of one of the murdered Henry boys – that this was now a struggle to get rid of the PPP. He more insidiously cast doubts into the minds of the villagers about the professionalism of the GPF, saying that the PPP had brought in “thugs” into the organisation. And yesterday, we witnessed the denouement of that wicked statement.
Some worked-up person or persons decided to take the law into their own hands and murdered Haresh Singh – the 17-year-old grandson of the man who owned the land on which the broken bodies of Isaiah and Joel had been found!! For good measure, they burnt his motorcycle, and it was the smoke from this conflagration that alerted relatives to investigate and discover his lifeless body. This has to be revenge, plain and simple…an eye for two eyes! And it has to be laid at the foot of Harmon, because of his undermining of the credibility of the Police.
What kind of man would be making political mileage from the gruesome murders of these poor lads, knowing full well that the destruction – including murder – unleashed was sure to follow in the light of the high emotions flowing from his incendiary statements? Later in the afternoon, another Indian- Guyanese man was killed at West Berbice when, seeing a road-block ahead, he got out of his car with his shotgun and fired in the direction of the crowd, which then pounced on him and beat him to death.
Shotguns typically have a range of 150 feet, and Chatterpaul Harripaul was well beyond this range. Clearly, he was enraged at the harassment he must’ve been subjected to on the WCB roads during the past few days. As an owner of a shotgun, he obviously was warning the crowd to get out of the way…but now he’s dead.
Your Eyewitness unfortunately doesn’t have hopes of this eruption receding soon.
After all, the PNC is too busy stoking the flames of racial hatred.
Gladstone Henry, the father of one of the murdered youths – Isaiah – has made one of the most poignant statements in the wake of the tragedy – and the exploitation of it by the PNC. He reminded all Guyanese that this was a tragedy of great proportions done to his son…and all he’s looking for is justice – and hopes it’ll be delivered by the Police. He explicitly declared he doesn’t want the matter to be made into a political football – as it was by Harmon.
But the heart-wrenching part came when he recounted the close relationship he and his murdered son had with their Indian-Guyanese neighbours. He related that they gave him the name “Geera” …the dark grains of cumin that are mixed with dhall at the end of the cooking to complete it. Among Indian-Guyanese, they would ask, “What is dhall without Geera?”
He said that Isaiah had the same kind of relationship with Indian-Guyanese boys of his age group. Would these friends ever commit such a horrible murder of their friend?
After whipping up the people of West Berbice into a frenzy – when they supposedly went to offer “condolences” to the murdered Henry youths – Granger and Harmon had the temerity to “condemn” the reprisal murder of Haresh Singh.