By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com]– Residents of Letter Kenny, Corentyne are in a state of shock over the police’s reported plans to charge them for illegally protesting and torching a man’s car, after he struck and killed 18 – year – old Rena Devi – Singh of that village at the weekend.
iNews today (September, 16), spoke to a number of residents, who requested that their names be withheld but wasted no time in lambasting the administration and the Police Force.
The deeply saddened and hurt residents say they were demonstrating their anguish with the frequency of fatal accidents in the area when they set the car ablaze.
They do not believe they did anything wrong and said a stance had to be taken against the seemingly unnoticed numbers of fatal accidents in the East Berbice area; explaining that it was hoped that government will take steps to curb the problem.
Letter Kenny residents do not believe that any villager should be charged for burning and destroying the car, since hundreds of persons from outside the village were on the scene and participated.
When asked if they could identify any of the persons who were involved in the act, the residents could not say but maintained that a life was lost because of the negligence of the driver and attempts should be made to ensure justice is served.
A young female villager lashed out at government; saying it is “government’s fault.” When asked why, she responded “not one a them na come since this girl dead, but when is elections them a come and sabotage this place, them a get 90 percent of Berbicians vote and them not care about we.”
She even made reference to a previous incident where a man from Williamsburg was brutally murdered by bandits. “Even then them nah come and that man use to give a lot to the community.”
Further, the woman sought to make a comparison, explaining that reckless drivers who blatantly killed innocent people on the roadway are given bail and allowed to walk free, while taxi drivers who are trying to make an honest dollar are being harassed for miniscule offences by some members of the police force.
She added that the ruling People’s Progressive Party “needs to represent the people who put them there”.
Another resident said they only torched the car after they found a number of suspicious items including a toy gun and fake ID cards.
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, during the PPP’s weekly press conference on Monday cautioned that the accident should not be linked to politics.
“The police will take action, justice will take its course and I am sure that justice being blind as it ought to be will find its rightful place in determining the guilty and the innocent, but it had nothing to do with politics and PPP support in that area, I rule that out completely,” he said.
iNews spoke to a reliable police source in ‘B’ Division who explained that investigations are ongoing into the matter. The Source said that on the day in question, residents prevented the injured woman from being taken to the hospital in a timely manner.
He said what is troubling is the fact that the residents have destroyed the car that would have been used to investigate the incident and press charges against the man.
He also noted that the Director of Public Prosecutions will determine who will be charged. However, he is doubtful that any of the residents from Letter Kenny will be charged for damage of property or illegal protest.