…she escaped the gallows
NEW AMSTERDAM, BERBICE – Shireen Khan, who was condemned to depart this life by judicial hanging, died at the New Amsterdam Female Prison on Monday.
Khan, her boyfriend Terrence Sahadeo and his friend Muntaz Ali were sent to prison in 1989 for the murder of 18-year-old Roshana Kassim of Sheet Anchor, East Canje.
Khan was sentenced for the first time on November 8, 1989. She appealed that decision a few years later. A re-trial followed and then another re-trial when she was finally condemned again.
According to an official, Khan died in the prison’s infirmary on Wednesday from medical complications including heart disease and diabetes. Recently, she had begun to bloat and she could not walk.
The source further indicated inmates reported that Khan had fallen off her bed in the infirmary. Shireen Khan was the longest serving female prisoner and had written to President Jagdeo in 2005 seeking a release on compassionate grounds.
Shireen Khan’s daughter, Shalini Seepersaud, declined to offer any comments saying that they did not want any publicity but, however, indicated that the family was making preparation for the funeral of the convict.
Yesterday, the relatives of Roshana Kassim said that although it was on September 18, 1985 that their loved one was killed, it still seems that it was yesterday.
On that day the 18-year-old was alone at her parent’s home shortly after writing the GCE examination. Her brother, Tariq Kassim recalled that Roshana went to gather water from a pond at the back of their Sheet Anchor home when she was confronted by the two men.
“The boys attacked her by the back steps and forced her back into the house, carried her to the bathroom and raped her. They then took her to the bedroom and raped her again on the bed and then collected the money, gold and other things. It was not much money.”
He said his sister told her attackers that she would inform her father, Khalil Kassim, what they had done to her.
According to him, one of the intruders picked up a knife from their kitchen and plunged it into the teen’s throat. “Her hair was long all the way down to her butt; they strangled her with her own hair. After they killed her they took a suitcase and placed it on top of her and then they left for Shireen Khan’s home where she was awaiting their arrival. There they split up the gold, money and so. About 09:00 in the morning the story spread and the police went after them.”
Shireen Khan was caught at the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling with the jewellery and the men were found at her home with the other loot.
Mr. Kassim said that his sister’s tragic end left a void in the home that can never be filled. “The death of Shireen Khan is what she deserved. We are glad that she is coming out in a box (coffin) and that she is not coming out of jail alive. They took my sister’s life all for a few pieces of material things. It was not good enough that they robbed and raped her but they killed her in the most brutal way and that hurt us every day.”
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