By Rabindra Rooplall
A 45-year-old fisherman and father of eight was fatally shot in his boat yesterday morning, by a security guard attached to Pritipaul Singh Investments Inc. (PSI), Mc Doom, East Bank Demerara. The incident occurred at about 9:35 hours, in proximity to the entity’s wharf. Pritipaul Singh Investments Inc. is a harvester, processor and exporter of seafood products.
The victim, Envil Trevor Pollard called ‘Elvis’ or ‘Rastaman’, of Crane Public Road, West Bank Demerara, was reportedly shot to the neck and groin with a shotgun.
An angry group of fishermen in their speedboats gathered at the scene where their colleague lay lifeless in his boat with a fishing net covering the lower part of his body. The vessel was tied to the wharf. The man was dressed in a blue shorts with light-grey stripes and a camouflage-design vest. Blood from his injuries formed a pool around his body at the bow of the boat.
Screams and shouts of “murder” could be heard from persons said to be relatives and fellow fishermen as three policemen in a speedboat visited the scene to carry out investigations and oversee the removal of the body from the scene. The body was removed by undertakers from Lyken Funeral Home.
“This man was a good man they kill. He use to buy our stocks and had a stall in the market where he does sell. They (PSI security guards) always shooting at fishermen when they are fishing in the area. At first was pellets, but like now they using real bullets from their shotguns,” one fisherman lamented
“Imagine this man is fishing for a living and he has to dip fishes out of the sea to make a living, and you will shoot a man while he working man? No that ent right man. These people don’t own the sea…why they shooting people when they coming around the area to fish? This is real advantage,” another fisherman said while shaking his head.
Relatives disclosed that ‘Elvis’ had been a fisherman for almost 40 years and is the owner of four boats and multiple stalls in the Stabroek Market.
“The workers on the wharf told me that a guard had threatened him two days ago saying that they will murder him. He does catch Cuirass and didn’t even start catching any when he was killed. The man that shoot he was in a boat spinning around the area. When they done shoot he, they left the boat to drift and workers at the wharf tied the boat onto the wharf so it won’t drift out to sea.”
“His neck had a big hole and lower body was filled with pellets,” the dead man’s son, Envil Pollard Junior called ‘Kevin’, told this publication.
Fisherfolks at the Stabroek Market claimed that the suspect usually visits the market daily to collect money from ‘Elvis’.
“The security guard does normally meet he in front of KFC (now known as Chicka-D) side and he start demanding more money every day. Elvis is not a thief man, but a fisherman, and didn’t deserve to be killed like that. Cuirass does sell at $100 for one and he want demand $5,000 a day from Elvis,” one irate market vendor said. “The man is a hard working man and was looking to make a living when he was killed.”
Fellow fish vendors expressed shock at the incident and related that police should investigate the issue properly without taking any sides.
It was explained that ‘Elvis’ would usually fish for Cuirass under the Pritipaul Singh Investments wharf which resulted in the security guard collecting a “royalty” from him. However there was a disagreement and a quarrel between the two which resulted in a confrontation leading to the fisherman’s demise.
When this publication visited PSI yesterday to seek a comment from an official of the company pertaining to what transpired, the security guard on duty at the facility’s gate seemed reluctant to convey the request and did not indicate if any statement would be forthcoming.
The dead man’s wife, Ashmoon Khan, who was too depressed to say much, noted that she would be seeking justice for her husband’s death.
“At minutes to nine in the morning I got a call that the security at Pritipaul shoot my husband and kill him. He has all his licence for all his boats and operations. He was doing nothing illegal. He is an honest and had working man,” she declared.
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