By Michael Jordan
Just when it seemed that the deeds of the youths that butchered Arthur Rajkumar and Diane Chamanlall couldn’t get more twisted, one of the suspects yesterday confessed that the gang also tied, tortured and burned 49-year-old Anita Baichan in her Plantation Hope, West Coast Berbice home a week earlier.
Police broke the case wide open on Saturday night, when they arrested 18-year-old Gokun Madanpaul, a fisherman, at a West Berbice barber shop.
Madanpaul, under interrogation, reportedly admitted that he and two others had not only killed Arthur Rajkumar and Diane Chamanlall, but Anita Baichan as well.
Already in custody is his 18-year-old accomplice, Neeman Rafeek, called ‘Shazam’, of Bush Lot New Scheme, Berbice.
He was captured at his home on Saturday shortly after fleeing with two others from the murdered couple’s home.
Police are seeking a third suspect, who was previously charged for murder.
It was two Sundays ago that Anita Baichan,49, and her son, Moshim Khan, were awakened by masked intruders in their Plantation Hope, West Coast Berbice house.
They were beaten, bound with duct-tape and their home set alight while they were still inside. The son managed to escape, while his mother was burnt alive.
Police had initially suspected that persons close to the family had committed the deed, and that it was linked to the slain woman’s insurance.
But when a gang of drug-crazed youths killed Arthur Doodnauth Rajkumar and his reputed wife Diane Chamanlall at Bush Lot, West Coat Berbice home, police began to suspect that both cases were connected.
Adding to that suspicion was the fact that a ski mask was recovered at the home of the slain couple.
Detectives recalled that the perpetrators in the fiery murder of Mrs. Baichan had also worn ski masks.
Like the youths who had butchered the couple, Mrs. Baichain’s killers also appeared to be drug users, since they had reportedly ‘smoked weed’ in her home prior to setting her property alight.
The statement by Gokun Madanpaul, the fisherman held on Saturday night, is said to have irrefutably connected him and two others to both crimes.
PLOT HATCHED IN ABANDONED HOUSE
Hours before invading Anita Baichan’s Plantain Hope, West Coast Berbice home, Gokun Madanpaul and a former murder accused, entered an abandoned house which is located near to Mrs. Baichan’s property.
There, the suggestion came up about robbing Mrs. Baichan.
They then left the house, and while walking in the community, they used a cutlass to ‘broadside’ the hut of a guard who was on duty at a school. They also relieved the guard of his bicycle.
The two men then headed to Mrs. Baichan’s home, and one of them entered through a window, before letting his accomplice in.
AWOKEN, BEATEN TO HAND OVER ‘MORE MONEY’
They then attacked Baichan and her son, Moshim Khan, in their bedrooms. According to the suspect’s statement, the intruders began to beat and chop their victims while demanding more money.
Mrs. Baichan reportedly handed over about $10,000, and the bandits continued their torture, while repeating their demands for ‘more money.’
They then duct-taped the mother and son. However, they removed the duct-tape from the son’s face after he complained of being unable to breathe.
The intruders then went to the bottom flat where one of them used a lighter to set a mattress on fire. They then escaped on bicycles.
The son, Moshim Khan, had told Kaieteur News that he managed to ‘roll’ down the stairs to the bottom flat, but was unable to save his mother.
GAVE DETAILS OF DOUBLE MURDER
The detained fisherman also reportedly gave detectives further details about how he and two others killed Arthur Rajkumar and Diane Chamanlall at their Lot 93 ‘A’ Bush Lot, Middle Dam, West Coast Berbice home.
“From what has been gathered, this new suspect who was arrested, has confessed that the plot for the robbery was hatched on a nearby ball field and was executed after they had smoked a few joints and gotten high,” a police source told this newspaper.
The gang reportedly gained access to the building by way of a verandah door, which they were fully aware would be open, since they often visited the premises, which houses a beer garden and grocery.
His other teenage accomplice, Neeman Rafeek, held shortly after the murder, had reportedly stated that they began chopping Mr. Rajkumar and his reputed wife, Dianne Chammanlall, while repeatedly demanding money.
But neighbours heard the commotion and summoned the police who rushed to the scene and saw the three killers scaling a fence.
Inside, they found the upper flat ransacked and awash with blood, with the dead businessman, with throat slashed and an arm partly severed, and his mortally wounded wife nearby. She succumbed shortly after at the Fort Wellington Hospital
In the house, police also found a bag stashed with confectioneries. Evidence also showed that the killers had eaten chocolates and consumed beers and had defecated in the house.
Acting on information, police ranks went to the Bush Lot New Scheme home of the teenage suspect, Neeman Rafeek.
There, they reportedly found him trying to wash off his victims’ blood, while his clothing, also bloodstained, was in a bucket of water.
Yesterday, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum commended his ranks from the Major Crimes Unit as well as those senior officers and their ranks from ‘B’ Division, who he said “were committed to accomplishing their tasks.”
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