– file on case sent to DPP for advice
Relatives and friends of Orlando Jones, the carpenter killed on Saturday night, yesterday took to the Number 1 Village, Corentyne, Berbice public road early yesterday morning to set fires and erect blockades, having traffic come to a complete halt and forcing hundreds of persons who were heading to work to turn back.
Jonas was stabbed to death on the Albion Public Road Saturday night after an altercation with two men who are now in custody, while his friend who was with him at the time, Mahendra Ramnarine, was also slashed along his cheek but survived.
Yesterday, dozens of sugar workers were stuck and forced to walk from the western side of the blockade to have an estate lorry pick them up on the eastern side. Workers attached to the various business places in New Amsterdam, nurses heading to work, bank employees were among the many forced to turn back home or walk across the blockade. Selected persons who appeared to be acquainted with the protestors could pass while the others were not. The villagers also placed tables and benches across the road, imbibed in alcohol and cooked food while others threw kerosene and set the debris on fire while the Commander of Region Six and other senior officers watched on without intervening or stopping them.
When Kaieteur News arrived at the location, persons were reluctant to speak but a relative of Jonas told this publication that they were protesting for justice to be served because he was “innocently killed”.
“We are out here because we need justice for Orlando Jonas, that is my nephew”, he said. When told that the two persons who have been arrested for the murder are likely to be charged soon, the he responded saying that, “We are not satisfied because the system is a vampire and dem use that
assertion that dem in power.” He was asked when the assertion was made but he responded, “Girly, yesterday dem seh da and a fellow that pass here yesterday seh it”. He was asked further what justice he and the family are seeking although the suspects are in custody, but he could not say.
Meanwhile, a woman who was eight months pregnant and was heading to the high-risk clinic at the New Amsterdam Hospital with her husband could not pass the blockade. She stated that she travelled from Skeldon from as early as 6:00 am yesterday to reach to her clinic early but was instead stuck in traffic.
The road was blocked until after noon when Guyana Defence Force ranks arrived and an excavator was provided to the police to clear the road. Only then was the traffic allowed to pass freely while the protestors remained on the roadways. There was a picketing exercise at Number 53 Village (Union) yesterday morning as well but that did not last long.
Kaieteur News has since been informed by police sources that one of the suspects in custody confessed to stabbing Jonas and discarding of the knife in the nearby trench. The second suspect said he threw his bicycle at Jonas and Ramnarine but they both stated that the now deceased and his friend were the ones that approached them and attempted to rob them. Ramnarine had however said that he and Jonas were riding past when the two men taunted them, causing them to turn back and confront them. Surveillance seen by this publication showed Jonas and Ramnarine passing on their bicycles while the two suspects were on the other side of the road talking. Seconds later, Jonas and his friend turned around their bicycles and rode up to the two suspects. Jonas was seen pointing his fingers at one of the men while Ramnarine appeared to be exchanging words; it was then that Jonas got off his bicycle and rushed towards the men, an altercation ensued, and arms were flung in the video at each other. Both suspects then walked over to the Albion Police Station and Jonas stumbled on his bicycle and Ramnarine rode off. Jonas afterwards collapsed on the road with his bicycle and was later picked up and taken to the Port Mourant Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
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