Apr 11, 2019 News
Following closing arguments by the State and defence, Justice Navindra Singh has set aside this morning to address the evidence in the trial of 54-year-old Sukhdeo Dharamdat, and his son, 25-year-old Eshwardat Dharamdat.
The two are accused of the February 3, 2015 murder of Suresh Nandkishore, at Handsome Tree Creek, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara.
According to reports, Suresh Nandkishore, his father Bhopaul Nandkishore, and brother Parmanand Nandkishore, were in the process of erecting a fence on a plot of land when a heated argument erupted between them and the Dharamdats. This led to a fight.
It was reported that the older Dharamdat, with whom the Nandkishores had a land dispute, came as they were working and appeared to have no objection. But Sukhdeo reportedly returned with his two sons, one of whom was armed with a cutlass.
The men reportedly picked up two of the posts that were meant for the fence and began lashing the Nandkishores about their bodies. Suresh reportedly tried to walk away, but was cornered and dealt several lashes to his head, blows that
cracked open his skull.
Attorneys-at-Law Pamela De Santos, Brandon De Santos and Alanna Lall, who are representing the two murder accused, urged the jury to acquit them both since the prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove that their clients committed the act.
However, Prosecutor Tuanna Hardy pressed the jury to return a verdict in accordance with the evidence. The prosecutor advised the jury to disregard the evidence of Sukhdeo, who during a sworn testimony, said that he was acting in self defence. “It was deliberate”, Hardy noted.
Prosecutor Hardy held that the duo intended to cause grievous bodily harm to, or kill Suresh, given the length and mass of the post that was used to inflict the injuries. According to Hardy, both Sukhdeo and his son had a motive to kill Suresh based on the evidence.
That motive, she stressed, was because there was an ongoing dispute between the two families over a plot of land. The prosecutor submitted that the defence of the two accused was riddled with inconsistencies and lies.
Thus, she asked the jury to rely on the evidence of Parmanand Nandkishore. His evidence, she said, was consistent and was in no way challenged by defence counsel.
Parmanand had told the court that the land was owned by his great grandfather, and was later passed down to his father. He said that land for which his family has a lease, was the subject of a dispute between the two families. The dispute was settled in court, with his father winning rights to the land.
According to him, it was about 25 acres of land which his family used to plant rice, cash crops and rear cattle. Recounting what transpired on February 3, 2015, Parmanand Nandkishore told the jury that his father had asked him and his brother (Suresh) to follow him to make repairs to a fence on the land.
The relatively calm witness said that they left by boat and arrived some 30 minutes after and offloaded posts to begin works. He added that some-time after, Sukhdeo Dharamdat arrived and asked his father what they were doing.
The man testified that his father responded that they were erecting a fence.
He further said that Sukdeo Dharamdat left and returned with his two sons, Chaitram and Eshwardat, who he said, was armed with a cutlass. Parmanand said, “…They (the Dharamdats) started to argue with my father who told them to let us leave.”
The witness said that as he and his family were walking away, Eshwardat attacked his brother with one of the posts meant to build the fence. He stated that his brother was struck several times to the head, which resulted in his skull being cracked open with blood gushing. The post, he said, was left stuck in his brother’s head.
Parmanand recounted that Chaitram lashed him with a cutlass and then struck him on his head with a post causing him to fall to the ground where he lay and “played dead.”
According to him, the attack has left his father with brain damage, which causes him to suffer from constant seizures.
Chaitram was jointly charged along with his father and brother for Suresh Nandkishore’s murder, but he later died while in jail. Justice Navindra Singh is presiding over this trial at the High Court in Georgetown.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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