Guyana Elections 2020 Unrest: Cotton Tree man fatally shot while chopping ranks, police say

By

Sewdat Devon Hansraj

At least one witness has denied that Hansraj was wounding ranks but could not say whether he was unarmed at the time.

According to the police, the attack occurred around 7. 40 pm, shortly after a Gazetted Officer and ranks cleared the said road of protesters and debris, leaving a Sergeant with several ranks to maintain free passage along the corridor.   

In a statement, the police said while performing duty on the Cotton Tree Public Road, West Coast Berbice, ranks came under attack by protesters, which resulted in several of them being hospitalised and their attacker, Hansraj, 18, dead.

“The ranks were then attacked by a group of men armed with cutlasses, wood, iron, etc.  and were forced to discharge their weapons into the air to disperse the very hostile and aggressive crowd and after expending their ammunition the ranks including Sergeant Ibaran, Corporal Williams, Constable Grant, and Constable Fraser were forced to seek  refuge in nearby yards…,” it said.

During the process, police added, it was alleged that one of the protesters who was later identified as Hansraj, chopped Sgt Ibaran and Constable Fraser and as he was attempting to deal the latter another chop, he was shot once by one of two ranks who arrived at the scene and witnessed their colleagues being attacked and wounded.

Police added that Hansraj and injured ranks, including one reportedly assaulted by protesters, were rushed to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, where Hansraj was pronounced dead on arrival, whilst the ranks received medical attention and admitted; their conditions are considered stable.

On Thursday night, Jevaughn Stephen, the Director of Regional Health Services, who was present at the New Amsterdam hospital last evening, confirmed that Hansraj had died and that the relatives of the deceased arrived at the hospital allegedly armed with cutlasses and other weapons.

Persons, who were present at the hospital, said the relatives began to threaten the medical professionals, which led to the police being summoned. The relatives reportedly become aggravated after they noticed police from the protest were being treated at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital.

Police Commander Calvin Brutus last evening confirmed that they responded to a call at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital and three persons were arrested. He said that one is a licenced firearm holder, while another was found with a cutlass.

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Comments

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On March 7, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    I usually click the “Like” button to indicate that I’ve read a post. I hesitate to do so in this case. It hurts deeply that the Guyanese people, my people, are unable to move forward. Instead, we appear to be trapped on a rusted carousel.

    This past week, for my current non-fiction work in progress, I’ve been researching Guyana’s political evolution in the 1970s. Forty-seven years ago, the then opposition PPP party cried “voting fraud” during the 1973 general elections. As occurred during this current elections, the problem of fraud had also arose in the Berbice region. At that time, two Indo-Guyanese poll workers lost their lives in a skirmish, over the escort of ballet boxes, with members of the armed forces.

    While Guyana’s power elite continue to fight among each other about who gets to consume the choicest and largest share at the banquet table, the kitchen staff and the servers will be left with only the crumbs.

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