By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Twenty – three – year old Melvin Shewprasad, a former Second Lieutenant of the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) is lucky to be alive after he was badly beaten, allegedly by ranks of the GDF, stationed at Lethem.
During an interview with iNews at his Meten – Meer – Zorg, West Coast Demerara residence, the young businessman, who plies his gold trade in Lethem, said that the incident stemmed from the fact that he refused to loan money to the Location Commander, whom he has known for some four years now.
He explained that the Location Commander called him and asked to borrow money but he told him, “the only time you does call me is when you need money, that was the end of the conversation.”
The young man further noted that later on Sunday morning (April 12), he visited a night club in Tabatinga where he saw the Army man and approached him in a friendly manner but was met with a violent response.
“He said to me that I was disrespectful, so I said because I didn’t lend you the money, I am being disrespectful? He said move out of my face so I said man seriously?
“Because we had a friendship before, I didn’t take it for anything and just after he took a Guinness bottle he was drinking with and lashed me in the head. I fell to the ground and didn’t remember anything,” the former solider told iNews.
When he regained consciousness, he was on the road with a female friend, awaiting a taxi to go to the hospital. At that time, Shewprasad said he noticed an army vehicle approaching, which subsequently stopped and a Solider [name provided] came out and started beating him.
“He lashed me against my left shoulder with a metal object. I fell to the ground and started feeling kicks and cuffs about my body. I lost consciousness.”
He regained consciousness at the Lethem Hospital where he was informed by his female friend that approximately eight suspected soldiers beat him up and they only stopped when another woman provided a human shield.
While at the Lethem Hospital, Shewprasad said the Police took his statement and later that day, the very Location Commander visited him while at the X – ray department and apologized for the incident.
“He said to me he’s sorry for what he’s done and if I need anything I should call him. I didn’t say anything to him. He tried to speak with my Mom, but she refused to speak with him as well.”
He received severe injuries to his head, face and could barely manage to see through his left eye.
Meanwhile, the former GDF rank disputed reports carried in the Stabroek News, which stated that he faced criminal charges and was dishonourably discharged by the Force.
He told iNews that he was Absent Without Leave (AWOL) and was placed under close arrest for doing so; however he was never charged as the GDF discharged him via “Struck off Strength” in the interest of the Force.
Shewprasad enlisted in the GDF in April 10, 2010 and was discharged on September 01, 2014, according to documents he provided to iNews. The GDF has since sent a team to the area to investigate the report made but thus far no one has been charged in connection with the matter.