Kaieteur News – The tragedy of persons should not be exploited for narrow and selfish political purposes. Unfortunately, the APNU+AFC has opted to use two sets of tragedies for political mileage.
The fatal shooting of Quindon Bacchus, a young resident of Golden Grove is a tragedy to his family and community. The circumstances surrounding the shooting are still being investigated by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA).
The PCA is an independent body established in 1989 under the Presidency of Hugh Desmond Hoyte. It is not answerable to the Guyana Police Force or to the government.
Its main functions are to investigate complaints of misconduct by members of the Guyana Police Force and to supervise investigations of certain serious crimes alleged to have been committed by members of the Police Force.
The PCA has since issued a statement explaining that the investigation, into the death of Bacchus, is proceeding rapidly but that there are certain lawful protocols which have to be complied with before the investigation is wrapped-up. Those protocols, no doubt, relate to the requirements that the PCA has to forward the investigation report to the Director of Public Prosecutions along with comments as to whether or not the investigation was done to its satisfaction and, if not, why not.
A report on two online sources is said to have triggered unlawful protest action yesterday morning. Barricades were placed to block the East Coast Public Road at various points.
The media must desist from referring to the unlawful barricading of roads by protestors as peaceful. Such actions are not considered as peaceful.
Protests are no longer just about registering concerns or expressing opposition. They have become an instrument to create disturbance. Increasingly, it is now the norm that protestors do not feel that they are making their point unless they create disturbances.
The protests cascaded into robbery, looting, arson and destruction of property. It is ironic that the protestors who were demanding justice did not see the injustice, which their actions triggered. The family of the Bacchus have reportedly condemned the violence at Mon Repos.
What happened yesterday at Mon Repos had its roots in development at West Coast Berbice in 2020. In those protests, persons were beaten and robbed and vehicles set alight similarly. The roadway was also blocked. The police should have photographic evidence and footage of some of those involved in violence. This evidence was all over social media.
In one instance, a young man was seen pulverising a minibus driver. The footage of the incidence was posted on social media, as were other incidents of criminality including images of those who were lighting fires.
No one was ever brought to justice for those attacks. The police let bygones be bygones, and this inaction emboldened the protestors to do what they did yesterday.
The President and his Attorney General have however said that yesterday’s unlawful actions will not be without consequences. The President has demanded that the police arrest and bring to justice those who are openly damaging public and private property and instigating lawlessness.
The Attorney General noted that burning, looting, inflicting grievous bodily harm, malicious damage to public and private property, riotous conduct, robbery with violence and treasonous statements are all offences under the law. He urged that the rule of law must prevail. We shall have to wait and see whether persons will be brought to justice for yesterday’s mayhem.
In the meantime, the APNU+AFC has issued a statement in which it condemned the criminality involved in the protests. They said such actions undermined and distract from the legitimate aims of the protests.
But then, it went on to contend that while the protests are linked directly to the police ‘execution’ of Quindon Bacchus, they are driven by the deep and persistent grievances many Guyanese feel about the PPP/C’s discrimination and governance.
By this additional interjection, the APNU+AFC has seemingly not only already decided on the guilt of the police in the death of Bacchus but is also seeking to politicise the issue by extending it to poor governance. To seek to exploit tragedy for narrow political gains is shameless as it gets.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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