trouble is brewing in the Region Nine (Upper Takutu- Upper Essequibo) capital town of Lethem, as a high-ranking municipal official has filed a Police report against a regional official, alleging sexual assault.
When contacted Thursday, F Division ((Lethem and other Interior Locations) Commander Ravindradat Budhram confirmed that a report was indeed made and Police had conducted an investigation into the incident.
According to Budhram, a file was compiled and has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice on instituting charges against the accused.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Empowered Peoples Action Network (GEPAN) released a statement condemning the attack. In its missive, GEPAN said it had been solicited to petition on behalf of the Virtual Complainant, as a civil actor.
According to GEPAN, the victim suffered the assault while carrying out her official duties. The advocacy group alleged that it was during a work mission trip, when she was forced to share a room with the suspect, that she was physically assaulted.
According to the group, the official has written to President David Granger, requesting his intervention. GEPAN also stated that the victim has suffered “psychological and emotional abuse and break down” owing to the incident.
The group went on to reveal that the official has been forced to compromise her career and her home life has suffered. Meanwhile, at least two wings of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) have since come out in solidarity with the alleged victim. These groups – the Women’s Progressive Organisation and Progressive Youth Organisation of Region Nine, expressed admiration for the boldness of the Virtual Complainant in coming forward.
“We admire the boldness of (name withheld), who came out and stood firm and strong for her rights; as such, we stand in solidarity with (name withheld) as she seeks justice, since the allegations levelled against (name withheld) is a criminal one.”
The two groups, who issued the statement jointly, called on “every sober minded Guyanese” to condemn the actions of (name withheld) on young women and be an advocate for justice. They also called on the authorities to take immediate disciplinary action against the official and to allow the law to take its course. Efforts to make contact with Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan and recently-installed Social Protection Minister Amna Ally were futile.