Govt. officials did not give order to shoot protesters – Police
The top brass of the Guyana Police Force is denying what it said are reports that Government officials directed ranks to open fire on the Linden protesters.
A release yesterday from the Police Public Relations Department stated that “cognisant of rumours circulating among concerned members of the public, the Guyana Police Force wishes to categorically state that at no time was any directive or instruction given to the police, either verbally or in writing, by any political personality including Ministers of the Government, in relation to the policing of the protest demonstrations that have been occurring in the community of Linden since Wednesday July 18, 2012.
“The maintenance of law and order in the country is within the mandate of the Police Force and the Force Administration, inclusive of Divisional Commanders. The administration has been unilaterally dealing with all administrative and operational aspects involved in the situation at Linden.”
The statement came a day after the Home Affairs Ministry issued a release distancing itself from any involvement in the tragedy.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs wishes to emphasize that the events which took place at the Mackenzie-Wismar Bridge was strictly a Police operation with no direct or indirect involvement of the Ministry of Home Affairs,” that statement said.
Questions are being raised as to who ordered the ranks to shoot at the gathering.
Opposition political groups have accused the ranks of using excessive force, pointing to the fact that the protesters were unarmed.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has since announced that it has given orders for the removal of the Police Commander in the area.
The Ministry also said it has requested of the Commissioner of Police (ag) a “full, comprehensive and immediate report on the matter”.