Businesswoman laments lack of police protection
…after husband narrowly escapes death
A Parika, East Bank Essequibo businesswoman is lambasting the police for their belated response to last Sunday’s gun attack on her husband.
The woman, Shanta Kawall, known as ‘Auntie Vanie’ is fed up with the tardiness of the police at the Parika police station, whom she opined are paying scant regard to the safety of citizens in the community.
Kawall’s husband, Lowknauth, narrowly escaped death last Sunday night when a gunman pounced on him and opened fire with a pump action shotgun in what appeared to be a robbery attempt.
Quick thinking by the businessman thwarted efforts by the carload of gun assailants.
He managed to drive his Canter truck to the safety of the Parika Police Station after one of the gunmen opened fire, boring huge holes in the driver side window of the vehicle.
Kawall operates Tony’s Grocery Store at Parika, a relatively short distance from his home.
Recalling the incident, his wife Shanta said that just after 19:00 hours on Sunday, the businessman was about to turn into his yard when a car with a group of men pulled up in front of him.
One of the men came out of the car with a pump-action shotgun and began firing indiscriminately at the truck in an effort to get the businessman to surrender.
But Kawall, sensing that the men were robbers, reversed his truck and sped towards the Parika Police Station with the men in hot pursuit.
The businessman managed to outdrive the bandits and made it safely to the station forcing the men to abandon their plans.
According to the woman, the same car with the men was spotted a few days earlier in front of their business place.
When asked why the earlier sighting of the men was not reported to the police, Shanta Kawall said that “it wouldn’t make sense, because when you report it, the police wouldn’t do anything.”
She substantiated her claim by explaining that following last Sunday night’s robbery attempt, her son’s advice to the police to set up roadblocks in an effort to capture the suspects, who were obviously strangers to the area, was nonchalantly brushed aside.
“When he (my son) asked for a roadblock at Leonora…the answer was like, there was no police at the station to do that. They have a patrol on the road, they should have called that, but they did not do anything,” Shanta Kawall reasoned.
“I just want to know what protection we business people have,” she questioned.
Last Sunday’s attack was the sixth time that the family has had encounters with bandits, dating back to 1989.
In 2006, Lowknauth Kawall was shot by bandits during a robbery, while in 2008, his father was attacked by bandits as he was transacting business at DOCOL on the East Bank of Demerara.
“The time when they shot my husband in 2006, the police said that they didn’t have transportation to come and they’re just a minute drive away,” Mrs. Kawall recounted.
She said following last Sunday’s incident, the entire family is scared.
“I mean we have to do our business, we have to close in early. We losing a lot, because when you have to close your business so early, you know what happens. I don’t think it’s fair for the business people,” Mrs. Kawall said.