Last update: 04-Dec-2013 12:33 pm
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Two caught after Radio Jaagriti break-in (with CNC3 video)
Quick work by police investigating a break-in at Radio Jaagriti (102.7fm) yesterday morning resulted in two men being detained hours after the incident. The suspects, aged 26 and 17, from Beetham Gardens, Port-of-Spain, were arrested around 11.30 am as they drove along Main Street, Beetham Gardens.
The suspects, who are known to police, were arrested after they were found driving a Mazda car loaded with computers, amplifiers and other equipment taken from the station. The equipment was identified by technicians, who were contacted and brought to the Besson Street Police Station, Port-of-Spain. Senior policemen said Cpl Primus and PC Mitchell, of the Inter Agency Task Force, were on mobile patrol along Main Street, when they saw the men driving off.
Meanwhile, the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha’s secretary general Satnaryan (Sat) Maharaj, who is also the managing director of the station, said the break-in was politically motivated. During a telephone interview, Maharaj added: “Well all we know so far is we have been suspecting that there is interference in our programmes, especially our Tuesday and Friday, where we have a political programme and we are supportive of some of the things the Government is doing.
“We notice there has been interference in the reception and so on. “We got a call that they have damaged the equipment. We have no valuables there as such so that it was just an attempt to silence the station.” Maharaj said there were 39 radio stations in the country and questioned why Radio Jaagriti was chosen. He described the vandalism as unfortunate and added: “We will see how it plays off from here.”
He said T&T was a free country and said each station or person should be free to have political alliances.
“We support the Government and we find it intolerable that anyone or any group could want to silence a radio station,” he added. According to Maharaj, three men broke into the station at approximately 3 am yesterday and equipment, valued at approximately $300,000, was vandalised. He said the intruders got in by breaking the lock of the side door. Two security guards, he said, were held up at gunpoint, tied up and their faces covered. They were not injured.
The radio station was set up by the Hindu organisation, the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha. Maharaj said Jaagriti, which has been on the air for five years, was born out of politics, as for ten years the previous government administration denied it a licence to go on air but the Privy Council intervened, citing discrimination. He said the station would turn the disaster into a success.
“I coming back stronger,” Maharaj said. There were no surveillance cameras at the time of the incident but Maharaj has hired a security company to set up electronic cameras around the property. “We never spent money on security, per se, only on guards but now we have to go beyond that.”
A sales representative for the station said the entry point used by the intruders was also being reinforced. “They fixed the lock and now they going to put burglar proof over the door,” said Kishore Boodram. Aaron Henry, CEO of SWAT Estate Police, said eight cameras would be installed as a result of the break-in.
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