…and Top Cop does not rule out further shootings
Following the much publicised meeting between Brigadier (rtd) David Granger of A
Partnership for National Unity and newly elected Head of State, Donald Ramotar, there is still no consensus on the way forward.
This is according to Granger who told this publication yesterday that the meeting which was held on Monday at the Office of the President and was convened by Ramotar to discuss Governance.
“We were interested in dealing with the present crisis; we were interested in dealing with verification.”
Granger said too that APNU wanted to discuss with the newly installed President some of the current issues facing persons who voted for the coalition, “things like the misuse of state media particularly NCN. Residents of Linden were very bitter about that.”
He said that APNU was also interested in dealing with the issue of victimization. He pointed to the fact that some persons employed in the public sector during the campaign wore the colour green and had been dismissed from their place of employ.
Granger said that APNU was interested in dealing with how the Ramotar administration plans to address the issue of a long term solution to victimization of the ordinary citizenry.
Granger said that there were no concrete commitments from Ramotar and he opined that the nation is now looking at another period of continuity of more of the same that had prevailed under the Bharrat Jagdeo Presidency.
“I wasn’t happy that there would be improvements.”
Turning to the meeting that he had with the Commissioner of Police Henry Greene following the shooting fracas involving police ranks and APNU supporters, Granger stood by his assertion that the police used excessive force.
The former army general said that in all police operations there should be the use of minimum force when dealing with any sort of gathering.
“It was not a hostile gathering…we are not in a state of war…we are not under a state of emergency. The force was excessive.”
Granger insisted that the police are required by law, their training and their manuals to apply minimum force. “What we saw yesterday (Tuesday) was not minimum force…That is the point I made to the commissioner.”
He emphasized that it is now not a matter of a technicality on whether permission was issued for the March or not. “The march did not threaten anyone, none was hurt, no property was damaged, no attacks were made against the police.”
Brutal and vengeful were the adjectives used by Granger to describe the action by the Police ranks that shot the ‘peaceful’ protestors.
Granger reported that the Commissioner of Police kept insisting that the March was not legal and that the police will use any means at their disposal to suppress illegal marches.
The former army chief said that he is no way satisfied with response by the Top Cop in relation to the shooting of the protestors.
“We are normal citizens conducting a normal protest and we insist that excessive force was used and it must not be allowed to happen…People all over the world are entitled to protest.”
After the shooting there was another wave of persecution. Police ranks moved to Square of the Revolution and removed people’s vehicles and vending paraphernalia.
“I am very disappointed in the behaviour of the police and there has to be a response.”
He said that there must be an investigation to determine how an officer can be operating so far outside of the Operational Procedures in relation to internal security of the country.
At least a dozen persons were injured when police ranks opened fire on a crowd on Tuesday morning after the police had indicated that there was no permission for a peaceful march in the city.
APNU has been calling for an all party verification of all of the Statement of Polls in relation to the recently concluded Regional and general election which from all accounts was replete with discrepancies.
It was this refusal to accede to verification that sparked the protests.
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