Crime Chief Seelall Persaud yesterday said that the girls that were being protected by ranks of the Guyana Police Force at an undisclosed location were free to leave at anytime given that the police ranks were not playing a custodial role.
This, however, seemed not to be the case as the ranks guarding the girls were under instructions to not have them leave the room.
Persaud however told this newspaper that it was a voluntary situation. He added that the police did have an interest given that the girls were witnesses in rape charges filed against prominent city businessman and talk show host, Chandra Narine Sharma.
All of the witnesses escaped from the protective custody earlier this week but were returned to protective custody after they were found at a gas station on Sheriff Street. A senior police officer confirmed the escape.
They have since been taken back to the same location where they were being kept.
When asked about the details of that escape Commissioner of Police Henry Greene denied that any such thing happened.
A source within the Ministry of Social Services and Social Security said that at no point in time did that Ministry have custody of the girls. As it relates to the conditions under which the girls were staying this newspaper understands that it was the manner with which they occupied the premises that caused the living conditions to deteriorate.
Two adults and five children were being held in protective custody and this newspaper understands that the ranks protecting the witnesses were under instructions that the witnesses could not leave.
Meals are provided for all of the witnesses three times per day. The daily snack has since been terminated
The witnesses were offered protective custody after it was alleged that they may have been compromised by Sharma and some of his employees, all of whom have since been charged with witness tampering.
This newspaper reported that they are being guarded by female police officers on a rotating shift basis, an arrangement them renders them akin to prisoners.
Kaieteur News has learnt that the witnesses are hardly allowed out of the room and this has put paid to any desire for the children to attend school.
In fact, one of the infant children has not been registered at a clinic and therefore cannot access proper health care.
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