Victims in Sophia to be charged with “illegal” gun possession
2015 Election Day violence
Just one year after the 2015 Election Day violence in C Field Sophia, Greater Georgetown, the two victims are
again faced with another ordeal as they are being placed before the courts for possession of illegal firearms.
Bibi Farida Prasad, of Lot 589 Section C, South Turkeyen, and Narine Khooblall, along with his wife, of Lot 588 Section C South Turkeyen, were informed on Tuesday that based on advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), they would be charged with the offence of unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition as of May 11, 2015 and would have to appear before the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court today.
The homes of these two neighbours were stormed, vandalised, looted and their vehicles burnt by a large unruly mob of persons who claimed to be supporters of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition on the night of May 11, 2015.
According to their lawyer, Anil Nandlall, Prasad is and has been licensed to possess a .32 handgun since 1998, while Khooblall is a member of South Turkeyen Community Policing Group (CPG), the Chairman of Division C “2” Community Policing Group and the Vice Chairman of the National Community Policing Group of Guyana.
Nandlall noted that on the night of May 11 last year during the unrest, the Police requested that Prasad and Khooblall surrender their respective firearms and ammunition as well as copies of their firearm licences which were handed to the Police, duly examined and handed back to them. However, while the Police returned Prasad’s weapon the following day, Khooblall’s CPG weapon was kept by the State.
Nandlall pointed out that it was extraordinarily difficult to understand the basis of the criminal charges which his clients now have to face, noting that he was suspicious given the fact that these charges come exactly one year after the incident.
“My clients have been the victims of both political mayhem, as well as gross violation of their statutory duties and incompetence at the hands of the Guyana Police Force. They now feel that they are being persecuted and the criminal justice system is being used as an instrument of oppression against them. They do not discount the possibility of political interference as well,” he added.
The Attorney further noted that these bizarre charges would strenuously be challenged and when dismissed, malicious prosecution proceedings would be filed against those who instituted them as well as their superiors.
He also indicated his intention to sue the State for the damage and losses which his clients suffered on May 11, 2015, owing to the negligence of the Guyana Police Force since his clients were taken into Police custody that night and were told that their properties were under “Police protection”. However, upon their return home several days later, they found that their homes were burglarised.