By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Thick billows of dark smoke permeated the air, men, women and children violently rampaged through the streets as vehicles burned and police officers stood doing nothing as unrest boiled over in the streets of ‘C’ Field Sophia on the evening of Monday May 11.
Broken glass littered the road, three roadblocks made of debris and one made from a nearby caravan blocked the road from being accessed by vehicles.
Persons gathered with clothes wrapped around their faces in an attempt to filter the air they inhaled and at the same time protect their identities as they carried on with their rampage into the dead of night.
The residents attacked the house of Pastor Narine Khublall and burned his vehicle following a rumour that he conducted an illegal polling station at his residence.
Since about 17:00hrs on May 11, a crowd of persons had stormed his residence.
iNews however understands that while the situation boiled down after some amount of intervention by local law enforcement, it escalated to a tipping point after a resident of a nearby home came out and fired several shots into the air in an attempt to disperse the growing mob of people.
Albeit unsuccessful, the mob thrived on burning several more vehicles in their fiery rage. The vehicles burned included a motorbike two Prado luxury SUVs, one Bluebird and three other motor cars.
The resident did not stop there as they turned their anger towards two nearby stables with a small home close to it, burning those to the ground.
The Guyana Fire Service was summoned; however when they arrived they were forced to retreat as they were subjected to the rage of the residents.
The small amount of officers that were present at the scene at that time were basically helpless and did nothing to thwart the actions of the residents fearing that they too would be attacked or the situation would spiral further out of control.
Even when reinforcement of more than 25 officers arrived there was nothing that the police could have done to stop the crowd which had reached it hundreds.
The residents proceeded to storm the home of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic supporter which houses a church.
When the police attempted an intervention at this point they failed miserably as more vehicles were burnt in an utterly blatant manner by the residents and when the fire did not do them justice, they resorted to the use of their bare hands stripping a Nissan Bluebird of its seats and some electrical apparatus.
Several warning shots fired into the air by the police officers failed to do anything to disperse the crowd but rather incensed them as they were convinced “the police can’t shoot we.”
It was only after close to thirty members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) arrived on the scene hours after the burning had begun that the crowd diffused.
The residents were seemingly happy with the presence of thee GDF as they disbanded on instruction but did not return to their homes as they stood uneasily behind a GDF cordon.
As the crowd parted many persons surfaced with injuries alleging that they were shot with rubber bullets by police officers, an allegation that iNews has been unable to verify.
When iNews left the scene as the clock struck time to Tuesday May 12, the joint services had managed to cordon off the area but the residents still looked on pensively.