By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall says that the decision taken by Vice President and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan to fire one of two police officers accused of torturing a young man in 2009 is illegal.
On the instruction of Ramjattan, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud gave Corporal Mohanram Dolai notice of the termination of his services to the Guyana Police Force.
Dolai was found criminally liable for burning the genitals of 15-year-old Twyon Thomas while he was in custody at the Leonora Station lockups six years ago.
“Last week I instructed the Commissioner of Police that in the public interest, both ranks who tortured at Leonora, for which they were found criminally liable, be fired. I understand that the rank (Dolai) that the Police Commissioner could fire, was fire,” Ramjattan is quoted as saying in several sections of the media.
He also said that he intends to write to the Police Service Commission, which is the authority to rule on the dismissal of police officers indicating that Inspector Lall also be fired.
However, Nandlall told iNews on Wednesday June 03, that the Minister has no power or authority to give such instructions to the Police Commissioner.
He explained that the constitution explicitly states that such cannot happen, hence Ramjattan’s actions goes against Guyana’s laws.
According to the former Attorney General, the Minister can only give policy directions to the Force and he has no authority to be involved in the operations of the Police.
Emphasizing that he holds no “grief” for the accused policemen, Nandlall pointed out that Ramjattan is now practising the very “control freakism” he had denounced on many occasions while in the Opposition.
At the time of the horrific incident, Thomas was being questioned at the Leonora Police Station in connection with the October 26, 2009 murder of Ramenauth Bisram –PPP/C’s former Vice-Chairman of the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara Region.
It was alleged that while he was in custody, Dolai, then a constable, and Lall, who was a sergeant, doused the lad’s genital area with methylated spirits then lit it on fire.
They were both promoted in the Police Force recently.