Granger vows probe into ‘Sash’ Shaw’ murder and other crime wave killings

Granger vows probe into ‘Sash’ Shaw’ murder and other crime wave killings

Killed: Former Minister of Agriculture, Satyadeo SawhAUGUST 10, 2015 | BY |  President David Granger yesterday (August 9, 2015), promised that thorough inquiries will be held into the killings of former Minister of Agriculture, Satyadeow ‘Sash’ Sawh and all who were slain during the 2000 and 2008 period.

Photo: Killed: Former Minister of Agriculture, Satyadeo Sawh

The President made the announcement at a one-day symposium organized by the Cuffy 250 Committee in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Berbice Slave Rebellion. The event was held at the Critchlow Labour College. 

Granger said in due course, he will ensure that all those slain during that period have their deaths investigated.
“When you have ministers of government bringing in computers so you can track down people’s mobile phones; when you have a lot of men being shot at the back of their heads with their hands tied; when you have so many deaths which are not being investigated; when you have a minister of government who has been assassinated and you don’t have an inquest into his death, there is something stink and we are going to investigate those deaths,” said Granger.
He went on to state that there are “big monuments” in this country constructed – in Bartica, Region Seven and Eve Leary, Georgetown – during the reign of former President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Killed: Superintendent  Leon FraserThe monuments at Bartica and Eve Leary were erected in memory of police officers killed in the line of duty. In fact, every year the Fallen Heroes Monument at Eve Leary is where family members and ranks gather to remember those who died in the line of duty.

Photo: Killed: Superintendent Leon Fraser

“Never before in history have so many policemen been killed than during the tenure of office of Bharrat Jagdeo and that is why they constructed that monument (Fallen Heroes) and if you go to Buxton you will see another huge monument,” the President remarked referencing the Monument in Buxton, East Coast Demerara where the names of over 450 victims of extra-judicial killings over the last two decades are inscribed.

“So, Mr. Jagdeo has many monuments to his memory and those three monuments must remind us about the deaths which took place between 2000 and 2008 when he was President and we must make sure that our country never again becomes so divided that we feel that the only way of resolve our differences is by violent crime,” the President said.

Former Agriculture Minister with responsibili­ties for Fisheries, Satyadeow Sawh, his sister Phulmattie Persaud, brother Rajpat Rai Sawh and security guard, Curtis Robinson, were gunned down on the evening of April 22, 2008 at the Minister’s La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demer­ara, residence.
The killing had sent shockwaves throughout the nation. Sawh was a Minister of the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government but the questions over his death were many. No inquest was ever held.
One man was charged with the murder. The promised external assistance that government had announced it would have been seeking following Sawh’s death never materialised.

Fallen Policemen
Since the establishment of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), 62 officers and ranks have died in the line of duty. Interestingly, thirty one of them had fallen between the period President Granger vows to investigate.
Among those fallen heroes are Sergeants, Constables, a Chief Inspector, a Superintendent, an Assistant Superintendent, a Lance Corporal and a Special Constable. It started with Constable Allan Higgins in 2000 and ended with Constable Oslyn Glasgow in 2008.
Among the slain lawmen was Superintendent Leon Fraser in 2002.
His death had however, left questions and calls for investigation.

Bartica, Lusignan and Lindo Creek Massacre
On January 26, 2008, heavily armed gunmen stormed the village of Lusignan, slaughtering 11 persons, including five children.
The victims were: Clarence Thomas, 48; Vanessa Thomas, 12; Ron Thomas, 11; Mohandan Goordat, 32; Seegopaul Harilall, 10; Seegobin Harilall, 4; Dhanwajie Ramsingh, 52; Seecharran Rooplall, 56; Raywattie Ramsingh, 11; Shazam Mohammed, 22; and Shaleem Baksh, 52. August 2013, a mixed jury found that the men accused of the killings were not guilty and they were subsequently exonerated.
On February 17, 2008, a number of gunmen invaded the mining community of Bartica, Essequibo They attacked the Bartica Police Station, where they killed Lance Corporal Zaheer Zakir, Constable Shane Fredericks and Constable Ron Osbornes.
After murdering the three police officers, the gang stole cash, arms, ammunition and a vehicle from the police station. Using the stolen police vehicle, they drove through the streets of Bartica shooting at civilians, fatally wounding Irwin Gilkes.
They then proceeded to CBR Mining, where they killed Irving Ferreira, stole arms and ammunition and removed two safes containing cash and gold.
Next, they shot and killed Dexter Adrian before returning to the wharf. At the wharf, they executed Abdool Yassin Jr, Deonarine Singh, Errol Thomas, Ronald Gomes, Baldeo Singh and Ashraf Khan.
After their one hour rampage, the gunmen departed Bartica by boat.
The Bartica Massacre was immediately linked with the Lusignan Massacre. While some initially questioned the link, the Guyanese security forces have since attributed all of the murders to Rondell Rawlins and his criminal gang.
Seven years ago, eight gold miners were slaughtered at Lindo Creek, Berbice River. June 21, last marked seven years ago that the unidentified remains, inclusive of feet, bones and skulls among other body parts, of Nigel Torres, Bunny Harry, Clifton Wong, Dax Arokium, his uncle Cedric, Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes and Lancelot Lee were discovered in their camp at Lindo Creek, Berbice River.
To date, that is still being considered as one of the major mysteries of the crime wave. For the police the case died with the notorious gang leader Rondell ‘Fineman’ Rawlins who along with members of his organization was blamed for the gruesome killings.

Drug and gang-related, terrorism or race issue?
Officials of the then PPP/C government were convinced that the crime wave was drug and gang-related. By the time of the Diwali massacre of November 2002, ‘phantom’ gangs had killed four of the five escapees, without making any arrests.
Any mystery about the phantom gangs disappeared in October 2003 when George Bacchus made the startling public admission that he was a member of one of those very gangs.
He threatened to expose the gang’s links to a senior government official but, before he could appear at a Commission of Inquiry into those allegations, he was shot dead in his bed on the night of June 24, 2004.
Some government leaders had even argued that the killing was a racial problem and others opined that it was politically motivated.
Later the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) discovered an arms cache and sensitive equipment (a laptop and a transmitter) in a pick-up vehicle at Good Hope, East Coast Demerara and allegations were that officials of the then Government were  aware of the purchase and use of the computer that was found in the vehicle.
The PPP/C had denied this claim.
A laptop and a transmitter were reportedly seized from Guyanese drug trafficker Roger Khan and two other men, Haroon Yahya and Sean Belfield.

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  • de castro  On 08/10/2015 at 6:18 am

    A major task indeed but certainly step in right direction if conspiracy and corruption issues are to reduced/discouraged. Respect for law enforcers
    public servants which also includes the political class is way forward.
    Those of us in the diaspora eyes and ears are on you….with advances in social media available today.

    An uphill struggle but not an impossible task.
    If public enquiries are necessary so be it.

    Justice must not only seem to be done….it is done.

  • Thinker  On 08/10/2015 at 8:10 am

    All this fancy talk would have been more convincing if the inquiry into Walter Rodney’s assassination had been allowed to run its course. The PNC is out to make political propaganda. If they had really wanted to track down Gregory Smith in 1980 they would at least have published a photo of him in their government controlled press. What a disappointment Roopnarine is to be agreeing to end the inquiry. People who have info must start writing their memoirs.

  • Gigi  On 08/11/2015 at 7:48 pm

    So, will this investigation(s) be a selective witch hunt likened to the Rodney investigation claimed by Granger et al. Granger is indicating that he is going in an ethnic direction so you know he is not going to expose the PNC instigated ethnic killing sprees. Is the current wave of ethnic killing by APNU elements more payback? What for this time? The AB+C countries have rigged you into power AGAIN. Does it matter if you didn’t win or cannot win an election? Get over it and use the opportunity given to become a decent and good human and leader, set a good example for others to follow or strive for.

    If you people keep this up, soon there will be a Jagdeo religion like there is now a Gandhi religion. Folks like these do not come along every day so it’s no wonder people want to turn them into a God.

  • de castro  On 08/11/2015 at 9:07 pm

    Just hope the political class (gods) in GT are reading/following opinions expressed on this GOL forum. Some serious issues are certainly being expressed in words…..let’s hope it is reflected in the decisions by the political class.

    Politicians must never forget its is the people who gave them the mandate to rule (power) and they are elected to serve the people as public servants
    therefore can be deselected if they fail to make the right/fair decisions.

    A week month year is a long time in politricks.

    Que sera

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