As protest action into the barbaric killing of two teenage cousins, Isaiah Henry, 16, and Joel Henry, 19, from Number Three Village, West Coast Berbice intensified yesterday, there were more reports of vicious physical attacks, robberies and damage to vehicles and properties.
This was a continuation of protest action that started Sunday after the boys’ mutilated bodies were found in a backdam.
In Region Six, while the roads were cleared by police on Tuesday after protesters burnt debris and blocked the road at Number One Village and at least nine locations in New Amsterdam, the homes of several persons were stoned at Fort Ordinance Housing Scheme, East Canje, a barbershop was burnt in Region Five, a home was burnt to the ground, and several persons of East Indian descent reported racially motivated physical assaults. The assaults, this publication was told, occurred while persons were still in vehicles or were making their way by foot out of the crowd.
In a video seen by this publication, a bus driver was brutally punched to the face by a rogue protester while he was sitting in the driver seat of his bus. Police ranks, who were on the other side of the road, appeared to not see the attack. Those who captured footage were clearly alarmed.
A bus driver by the name of Dhaniram Persaud posted pictures of his bus with all the windows shattered and compartments ransacked. He said that a baby was on board the bus. The attack from the protesters, according to the man, forced his passengers, who merely wanted to get home, to exit the vehicle and walk to their respective destinations.Another woman, Anjanie Bacchus, posted pictures showing injuries her uncle sustained after he was beaten and robbed by protesters at Cottage, Mahaicony. She stated that his bus was also set on fire during the violent protest.
Meanwhile, Bobby Ramroop, who was also caught in a traffic jam as a result of the protest action, had his vehicle damaged by protesters who hurled objects and bottles at it. As a consequence, Ramroop suffered injuries about his shoulder, neck and chest area.A relative disclosed that Ramroop was stuck in Bushlot since Monday after he came out of the backdam but the Hopetown Public Road was blocked and he was forced to turn back. He, however, decided to take a chance to head home after he heard that soldiers would be escorting traffic through the blockades.”After he joined the line and the soldiers were in front when he reach Hopetown, these guys were like off the road but like hiding under a tree and they just pelt the car,” the relative said. The car windscreen was damaged and Ramroop suffered injuries before he eventually made it home to Bath Settlement, this publication was told.Up to last evening, protesters were said to be on the roads at Number Three Village, Number 26 Village, Cotton Tree; Cottage, Mahaicony; Hopetown and Number Five Village. The roads were also blocked at several locations. When contacted, Berbice Commander, Edmond Cooper, said he was not aware of any blockades other than at Bath Settlement. However multiple persons claimed they were caught in traffic jams at Hopetown, Cottage, Mahaicony and Number Five.
Other stories of attacks included that of Rajendra Dasrat of Golden Fleece, West Coast Berbice, who was chopped on his hand and was beaten on his back after he was pulled from his employer’s vehicle which was later set alight.
“He and another worker were going to the rice field and they pull he out and beat he because they said he’s Indian and they left the other guy that is black. He say they go fuh chop he in his face and he bar with he hand so come he hand get bad chop and he back,” a relative disclosed.
Meanwhile, over in Region Six, the home of the NDC Chairman of the Number 38/Ordinance/Fort Lands Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Roy Jaffarally, came under attack Tuesday night by what is believed to be rogue elements among those protesting for justice for the murdered cousins.
Jaffarally said he was in his living room with his wife and children,
ages 10 and 4, when they heard loud smashing noises on the roof top of their house. “We are so shaken, my girls are terrified, the impact of the stones on our roof was so loud,” he said. Subsequent checks were made on the home and vehicles that were parked in the yard and, according to Jafarrally, there were several dents found. There were huge bricks found in the yard and a bottle of engine oil. “I don’t know if they were trying to burn my house,” said Jaffarally, who is also the chef and owner of Grill Master Berbice and has been actively involved in assisting the needy in his community.
According to the man, he has since taken security measures to secure his home to keep his family safe. At least two other persons reported that their homes were stoned too.
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