Police Force remembers its fallen heroes
- concerns expressed over Const. Shepherd’s ommission
The Guyana Police Force yesterday honoured the memory of 56 of its ranks who were killed in the line of duty at a special wreath laying anniversary ceremony at the ‘Place for Fallen Heroes’, Eve Leary.
This year saw the addition of police Constable Baldat Becramsingh, who was killed while on guard duty at the Joint Services Housing Scheme, Lamaha Springs a month ago.
This was two years after the last policeman died in the line of duty.
However, notably absent from the list was Police Constable Kelvin Shepherd who was shot dead, allegedly by his officer, Aassistant Superintendent Ivelaw Murray at the Whim Police station, one day after Becramsingh meet his end.
Murray, according to reports, subsequently committed suicide and is not being considered as a fallen hero.
However, even police ranks were questioning the omission of Shepherd despite the fact that he was bury with military honours.
Presently, ASP Murray’s relatives are contemplating a move to the court to have him buried with honours, since they are convinced that he did not die by suicide.
The police offered no explanation for the omission, a move which angered members of the media who eventually walked out on an invitation to join members of the force and relatives of the slain cop in a breakfast.
This time around there were no speeches but relatives of cops killed in the line of duty dating back as far as James Ramsey, who was murdered in 1913 at Plantation Rose Hall, joined Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee and Police Commissioner Henry Greene in laying wreaths at the monument.
Speaking with reporters, Constable Beckramsingh’s father said that he last spoke to his son the day before he was killed and was shocked to learn that he was killed while guarding the Joint Services Housing Scheme all by himself, especially since he was still a recruit.
He indicated that at least there should have been another rank with him at the location.
Another disgruntled relative, Poonia Latchanna, the mother of the late Lance Corporal Ramnarine Latchana, said that since her son’s death she has not been receiving the cooperation from the force’s administration that she expected.
For one, she has not received the government promised $1M for the relatives of policemen killed in the line of duty.
“My son used to mind me and look after me….I am now living without a job. No benefits, all they give me was $150,000 and it’s finished, I have nothing more left, the dead cop’s mother lamented.
She added that the force has not been in communication with her regarding the memory of her son at the annual ceremony, claiming that for the past three years she has had to find out on her own about information regarding the wreath laying ceremony.
“No one invites me here, I have to be peeping and seeking where to come. No Welfare Officer, no Police Commissioner invites me here,” Latchana told members of the media.