Taxi driver refuses to surrender, burns self in house
A taxi driver wanted for questioning by the police decided to end his life on Friday instead of surrendering to the police. The man ended his life by setting his house on fire and remaining in the burning building.
This happened even as the law men were in his yard and on his steps pleading with him to surrender.
Chrisendat Phagwah, 39, of Second Street, East Canfield, Canje and of 363 Fort Ordnance New Scheme, East Canje, shared the home with his reputed wife, Bibi Nafeeza Khan, 39, and her two children from a previous relationship, her mother 65-year-old Bibi Johanan Khan, and her husband, Arnold Shirkissoon, 79.
Also sharing the home were two other relatives, Intiaz Khan, 18, and Joel Captain. According to reports, Phagwah was wanted by the police for questioning about a matter of fraudulent conversion.
He allegedly drove away with the cooking gas cylinder of a passenger.
It is understood that a passenger had hired the car for the day, purchased a cylinder of cooking gas and deposited it in the trunk of the car.
He then went to a restaurant to purchase some food. Upon his return the car had disappeared with the gas cylinder.
However the passenger had noted the number of the car and he reported to the police who then went for Phagwah.
The police closed in on him Friday morning as he was at his mother-in-law’s residence at Fort Ordnance, but Phagwah had other ideas.
According to his reputed wife, she was not aware of any problems her husband might have had with anyone. She said that she, her husband and two kids would either stay at his house at Canefield or at her mother’s house at Fort Ordnance.
She said that her stepfather has been ill for some time and on Friday morning, she, her mother and Phagwah took him to the New Amsterdam hospital in Phagwah’s car. Phagwah, she said, left to return home and await a call from them, when tragedy struck. By the time she got the message and returned home the place was engulfed in flames. Her mother subsequently arrived from the hospital and upon seeing the sight she collapse. She was on her way home to collect things to take back to her husband in the hospital. The elderly woman had to be assisted by relatives.
According to eyewitnesses, Phagwah came home hurriedly, parked his car and quickly hurried into his house. The police arrived some time around 08:30 hrs.
The car was parked outside and after calling for a while, the cops were heard saying, “He has to be in there, we might have to go in and call for back up.”
They later saw Phagwah in the house, but the man refused to gave himself up.
The police decided to remove some louvers and the man in turn threw kerosene on the policemen forcing them to retreat.
When back-up arrived the ranks made another move on the house, but Phagwah again threw kerosene on the police.
He then lit fire by the window, but this was put out by the cops who also decided to summon the Guyana Fire Service.
Phagwah, according to eyewitnesses, decided to light three other fires— in the two bedrooms and the kitchen of the two flat wood and concrete structure.
The police tried desperately to smash the door and the windows to get the man out, but they were repelled by the heat and the smoke.
By the time the fire engine arrived from the New Amsterdam Fire Station and a smaller one from the Rose Hall Estate the house was destroyed and Phagwah was dead.
Phagwah has a daughter from a previous relationship who was overseas.