– Neck almost severed
The small East Coast Demerara community of Helena Number 2, Mahaica, is still reeling from the shock of the brutal murder of a cash crop farmer, whose neck was almost severed by a drug-crazed villager just after noon yesterday.
Fifty-two year-old Balkissoon called “Balkay” received a single chop to the left side of his neck and died almost instantly on the Middle Walk dam, a few yards from the plot of land he and his family cultivated.
The suspected killer, who was referred to by eyewitnesses as “Tailor Man” was eventually hunted down and captured by police an hour later, and is presently assisting with investigations.
The dead man’s son, Ravi Balkissoon, and another villager, Satesh Ramnarine, who were in the backlands at the time, witnessed the entire incident. In fact, the younger Balkissoon told this newspaper that his father died in his hands.
He recalled that he and Ramnarine, who was assisting the family to harvest their crops, were sitting under the shade of a huge tree when he saw the suspect, who lives in a shack in the backlands, pass them with two cutlasses in his hands.
He said that although the man and his father had a brief verbal altercation earlier in the day, he did not suspect that the man was about to confront his father, who was returning to the backdam with his bicycle with their lunch and other farm tools.
“Early dis (yesterday) morning he deh cussing me father, telling he dat he gon kill he, but me father nah tek he on. So when me father coming with we lunch, de man just tek de cutlass and chop me father and me father fall down,” Ravi Balkisson recounted.
He added,” me go fuh run behind de man, but me hear me father a blow heavy and I run back and grab he, and he dead in me hand.”
Ramnarine, another eyewitness to Balkissoon’s murder, told members of the media that the suspect approached the farmer and accused him of going to his house to abuse him, a few hours earlier.
“When Uncle Balkay jump off he bicycle, de man pull out he cutlass and fire a chop and by time Uncle Balkay bar, de chop catch he by he neck,” Ramnarine said.
He added that he ran towards the badly wounded man and using his jersey, he tried to strap the gaping wound in his neck.
“Blood start spill and I couldn’t do nothing more. So I ride home and tell he mistress and dem,” Ramnarine said.
News of the killing spread quickly through the village and several villagers as well as residents from the adjoining communities rushed into the backdam to get a glimpse of the scene.
Police responded quickly and had the body placed in a minibus while they awaited the arrival of a hearse from the Lyken Funeral Parlour to take it away.
Balkissoon’s wife, Indra, told this newspaper that she was at home, which is located on the dam before the actual backlands, when she saw the suspect pass with the two cutlass.
“Me seh ‘dis nah look nice’. And me run out and me start holler, and same time one ah dem boy come and seh ‘Come now auntie, Uncle Balkay dead.’ By time me go, me husband lie down dead,” Indra Balkissoon said.
She is convinced that her husband was killed by the drug-crazed man because he was a witness to several altercations between the killer and his brother.
“Me and me husband does deh pon dis dam early morning and we does hear ‘tailor man’ threaten he brother fuh kill he and we does be de obstacle pon dis dam. So now he decide fuh dismantle me husband. But me husband and he never had no talking before today,” the woman told Kaieteur News.
She said that she had begged her husband to wait until later in the afternoon when the place was cooler, but he insisted that he return to his plot, “and is go he go and get he death.”
The woman was supported by other villagers when she said that the police at Mahaica have several reports of the man threatening to kill persons with whom he had arguments.
“He does smoke dope. One hundred times report deh ah Mahaica Police Station, but he ah go in fuh five minutes and come out back. He ah big boy ah backdam hey. I hope he gone fuh good. Dis hut, me never know man life like fowl, dis hut,” Indra Balkissoon declared.
Police have indicated that the suspect is cooperating and he is likely to be charged soon, once they secure all the statement from the witnesses.
“He has already given a Caution Statement admitting that he committed the act, because the man and other persons were constantly harassing him,” a source close to the investigations told Kaieteur News.
Detectives have also recovered a cutlass which they suspect to be the murder weapon.
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