“I condemn in the strongest terms this horrific, criminal act and expect that the perpetrators thereof shall face the full force of the law.”
By Gary Eleazar
Human Services and Social Security Minister, Priya Manickchand, yesterday condemned the torture of a 14 year-old boy who was held for questioning following the murder of a former Deputy Regional Chairman.
“I condemn in the strongest terms this horrific, criminal act and expect that the perpetrators thereof shall face the full force of the law,” said Manickchand.
According to Manickchand, the allegations by lawyers on his behalf and by the young man himself of the setting ablaze of the pelvic area while in police custody “are sources of great concern to me.”
She did point out that she is encouraged by the fact that the persons who are alleged to have perpetrated the act have been arrested.
“I commend the Police Force for recognising that this should never have happened and for taking speedy action. I expect a full investigation shall be pursued with a view not only to bringing these perpetrators to justice but to ensuring this never happens again.”
Manickchand posited that the rogue officers of the Police Force must be made to understand that obtaining any statement or evidence in that manner, “does no one any good as any such statement or evidence obtained after this kind of brutality will most likely be thrown out by the court at the time of trial. Any such statement/s will therefore be useless in proving any offence.”
According to Manickchand, the dead man whose murder was being investigated and his family are at risk of forever searching for justice, “This is sad.”
She stated that there is an official commitment to providing an environment where children can thrive and their talents given every opportunity to flourish.
“Our commitment is evidenced by the many actions that we have thus far taken including the establishment of the Childcare and Protection Agency, the passage of and laying in the National Assembly of several pieces of legislation, including the Juvenile Offenders Amendment Act piloted by Minister Rohee in 2007.”
She also pointed out that that legislation underscores Government’s understanding that, as in any other country, there will be children who will find themselves in conflict with the law, but when that happens those children should be treated differently from adults.
“We remain committed to enforcing these pieces of legislation and policy decisions and expect full compliance from the various service providers thereunder.”
On Saturday last, this newspaper published a photograph depicting what may be one of the worst cases of police brutality where ranks from the Leonora Police Station have been accused of setting a 14-year-old boy’s genitals alight while questioning him about the murder of former Region Three Vice Chairman, Ramnauth Bisram.
The teen was detained and placed in police custody since Tuesday last and his parents, Doodnauth Jaikarran and Shirley Thomas, allege that ranks had given them the royal runaround in locating their child.
However, when they did locate him, the ranks did not allow them to see him and it is now evident as to the reason behind his isolation.
Worse yet is that the act was committed on Wednesday last and it was only after this newspaper published a graphic photograph of the extent of the injuries that the young man was reluctantly taken to the hospital.
When this newspaper along with others visited the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station to witness his release, the gates were closed to prevent media operatives from entering the compound.
A police car was driven close to the door of the station and the boy emerged with what appeared to be a sheet wrapped around him.
He was quickly whisked to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where the police again tried their best to ensure that the boy was not seen.
He was subsequently taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where he is currently a patient in the Burn Care Unit under police guard.
To date he is yet to be charged for any offence.
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