The Jamaat-al-Muslimeen says it will "do what it has to do" in order to secure the release of leader Imam Yasin Abu Bakr and they are prepared to keep vigil outside the Central Police station with a larger crowd of people if Bakr is not released after 72 hours, by tomorrow.
Second in command and interim Jamaat leader Lorris Ballack made that declaration yesterday as a group of Jamaat members, including women and children, stood outside the National Library, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, opposite the Central Police Station where Bakr has been detained since Monday.
Ballack said: "I want to tell the Government that the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen will not give them the opportunity to call a state of emergency. We would not do that."
Bakr and eight members of his organisation were detained early Monday as part of the ongoing investigation into the murder of special state prosecutor Dana Seetahal, SC.
She was executed in a "hit" around 12.04 am on May 4, 2014 when she was ambushed by gunmen while returning from the Ma Pau casino along Hamilton Holder Street to her One Woodbrook Place apartment.
Others also detained on Monday include Imam Hassan Ali from the Carapo mosque, the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen's eastern outpost, Hamid Ali, Stacy Ali, Sieforth Cummings, Devon Cummings, Ricardo Stewart, Keston Seales and Deon Peters, Ballack said.
Yesterday, on day two of Bakr's detention, his colleagues, awaiting his release, gathered outside the library's foyer opposite the Red House which group members invaded in their failed coup attempt on July 27 1990.
Before Ballack arrived, veteran Muslimeen member Kala Akii Bua led the group, chanting "Allau Akbar" (God is greatest). The women sat on benches and the children played or milled around.
Ballack spoke to reporters after speaking with Bakr's wife, Annisa, who went into the station around 11 am. Ballack said she had confirmed Bakr was alright and she was going to seek his medicine for him.
Denying Jamaat members had anything to do with Seetahal's murder, Ballack said: "This is pure stupidity to say they are coming around to ask if somebody killed a woman. In the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen we always defend women. There are brothers who might be here who know if they hit their wives we used to flog them."
Ballack noted the recent claim by suspended Police Social Welfare Association member Michael Seales that people might try to provoke police to have a state of emergency called and therefore delay the September 7 election.
"My firm view is that the persecution of 1990 has not stopped. In this country, we will continue to be persecuted and worse of all, we are Muslims... our lives belong to Allah, whatever Allah chooses for us to do we will do."
Pressed on what recourse the group had in mind, Ballack said: "They have three days they can hold the Imam so they have 72 hours to play with and they must finish by 72 hours, latest.
"After that, we will bring a larger crowd of people and we will be in front here until his release. This persecution must stop. Racialism in T&T must die."