Outraged residents of Hosororo Hill in Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini) are on the brink of receiving justice as two investigations have been launched into the allegation of an unprecedented home-invasion/raid conducted by Guyana Defence Force (GDF) officers along with ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley confirmed that residents are completely traumatised after at least three houses were arbitrarily raided by Army and Police ranks in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
However, Commander of Police ‘F’ Division (Interior locations), Ravindradat Budhram, believes the reports are being “blown out of proportion”.
Both the Police and the regions’ intelligence committee have since launched independent investigations into the allegation to determine what exactly transpired.
INews understands that on Sunday morning, members of the Joint Services were hunting for suspects in relation to an assault case currently being investigated by the local Police.
According to reports, several young men allegedly assaulted a man on Saturday evening during a floodlight football match which was held in the community.
Residents recollected that the servicemen, clad in their military uniforms and equipped with guns in their hands, practically forced their way into the villagers’ homes without properly identifying themselves.
Residents claimed they were not told about the purpose for the exercise, and neither did they present a search warrant. The residents agreed that the servicemen were rather unprofessional in their approach and exhibited the bearing that they are above the law.
According to one resident who asked not to be named, the early morning military operation felt some semblance of the grim occurrences that plagued the country during the 70’s and 80’s when soldiers conducted multiple raids without probable cause or reason and were parading the streets, instilling fear into the populace.
The Regional Chairman said the Police have since denied the allegations made by the residents, indicating that there might be some “cover-up” involving the entire incident.
While not speaking directly on the incident, Ashley posited that often times, senior Police ranks would “protect” junior ranks who would have acted out of line.
Nonetheless, he admitted that he was beyond horrified at the news of the allegations and vow to ensure that the relevant authorities do everything in their power to uncover the truth so that justice can be served.
“We will not subscribe to that kind of behaviour. From what I heard from the residents, it appears that these men feel the law does not apply to them. Residents said they did not provide a warrant and the Justice of Peaces in the region indicated that they never signed any document for the search,” the Chairman stated.
Moreover, Ashley will be meeting with the residents today to address their concerns.
On the other hand, the Police are contending that nothing of the sort took place.
The Police Divisional Commander explained that the servicemen visited the area to conduct a regular search/arrest exercise in relation to the assault case being investigated.
He confirmed that four young men were arrested for questioning as the investigations continue.
Concerns are high that there might be a return of the “Burnham days” where the military was being influenced by the State to conduct political operations.
In the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Report, the distinguished three-member panel that investigated the circumstances which led to the death of Historian, Dr Walter Rodney, concluded that the Disciplined Services were working under the influences of the State in using excessive force against Guyanese citizens who did not share similar political convictions, or who were opposed to the practices of the People’s National Congress (PNC) Government, headed at the time by Forbes Burnham.
It would seem that the current Disciplined Forces are tilting in the direction of the operations of the PNC, the largest political unit in the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition; the same party the Commission has concluded was responsible for Rodney’s death.