Thugs capitalize on Linden protest
The Public Works Ministry is waiting for the unrest in Linden to revert to normalcy before restoring vital infrastructure such as roads that have been damaged by protestors.
The protest, which originally targeted electricity rates increase, on Wednesday, has escalated since the senseless killing of three residents– Selwyn Bouyea, Ron Somerset, and Allen Lewis– by ranks of the Guyana Police Force.
But there are those who are using the protest and mistrust between police and residents to achieve personal agenda. There are reports that commuters travelling from Kwakwani to Georgetown via the trail are being bullied and robbed by persons posing as protestors.
Apparently, the fake “protestors” have placed huge logs and other materials across the road blocking the passage of vehicles on the trail aback Bosai. Passengers are forced to pay $5,000 to walk out of the stretch into populated Linden. Some passengers were robbed of their valuables.
According to Transport and Hydraulics Minister, Robeson Benn, this is an undesirable situation and Government will be teaming up the police to ensure the safe passage of vehicles and passengers.
He said that employees of the Public Works Ministry were assaulted by protestors. “The men were hauled out their machinery- low bed and truck- and assaulted. The protestors destroyed the equipment. The driver of the front end loader retreated,” Benn said.
Benn stressed that the loss of the equipment was regrettable but the loss of lives is a greater issue. He assured that Government is looking to restore normalcy to the community.
People travelling from the Essequibo districts have been similarly attacked and robbed, according to reports reaching the Works Ministry.
Vehicles cannot reach Linden with the result that they either have to return to the Essequibo River or remain parked where they are at the approaches to Wismar.
And police reported that 12 people have been detained in connection with burglaries at the Digicel Outlet and the Post Office at Republic Avenue.
A release stated that shortly before midnight Friday, police ranks responded promptly to a report of a number of persons seen acting suspiciously at Republic Avenue, Mackenzie.
The Digicel Outlet and the Post Office at Republic Avenue were found to have been broken into. Quick work by the police led to the arrest of eleven men and a woman and the recovery of a number of articles that are suspected to have been stolen from the two offices.
The articles included three desk top computers, a lap top computer, water dispenser, wireless phone, money-counting machine, three flat screen television sets, an ipod, digital scale, water dispenser, micro wave, cell phones and cell phone chargers and batteries.
Meanwhile, new E&F Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner Gavin Primo told Kaieteur News that he is trying to bring Linden back to a state of normalcy.
“The people are still in protest mode. They have placed large tree trunks and other debris that are a hindrance to progression on the Wismar shore.”
Mr. Primo added that protesters have again used huge logs to block the Kara Kara bridge.
The Commander said that he had received reports about travelers being harassed to pay toll to enter Linden. However, he said that ranks who investigated the complaints were unable to substantiate those reports.
Primo replaced Commander Clifton Hicken following a directive by Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee to the Commissioner of Police (ag) to effect immediate changes at the command level at E & F Police Division.