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Elderly couple’s killings stun Cedros...
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday condemned the 20 senseless killings of citizens inside the first seven days of the year, saying they were “horrific,” “horrendous” and “intolerable.” Her comments came even as a Cedros couple and an Arouca father were earlier brutally slain as the series of brazen attacks on the citizenry continued unabated yesterday.
Persad-Bissessar’s comments came moments after she launched the new Rapid Response Unit and hours before she held an emergency meeting with the National Security Council, where she read the riot act and called on the heads of the various national security bodies to get their acts together and deal with this latest surge in murders.
But Persad-Bissessar already had one recommendation even before her statements, as Robin Ramdeen, the son of two of the latest murder victims, had, hours before the PM spoke, called on the Government to call in the army to deal with crime. Ramdeen made the call as he declared crime was out of control while grieving over the loss of his parents, Krishna and Radha Ramdeen, who were found murdered in their home yesterday.
Krishna, 63, and Radha, 57, were discovered in the bedroom of their Beach Road, Fullarton, Cedros, home around 8.35 am by another of their sons, Ravi. They owned the White Diamond Bar and Minimart. Relatives said a spiritual leader had warned the couple that they would be robbed and they had begun installing burglarproofing at their home last month.
Police believe the couple were victims of an apparent robbery, since the house was ransacked and money, along with pensioners’ cheques, which Radha would cash in the mini-mart, were missing. Krishna, who had suffered a stroke some months ago, was found on his bed with several wounds. Police believe he was bludgeoned to death, but could not immediately tell because of the extent of the injuries. Radha was found on the bedroom floor. She had apparently been suffocated with a plastic bag over her head.
Yesterday, Robin Ramdeen, who lives in Cunupia, said crime is not being dealt with and it is time for military action. “Bring out the army. Instead of having them in a base, bring them out. “They should be out there patrolling. They should have a base in rural communities like this and patrolling the borders where the illegal guns are coming in,” Ramdeen said as he shook his head while watching Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) search for clues at his parents’ home.
He and his sister, Rani Ramdeen-Yaya, also called for hangings to resume. Ramdeen said the Government “needs to enforce laws punishing wrongdoers. Hangings are not off the books and we need to start to enforce the law in a serious manner.” The Ramdeens were killed less than 24 hours after two men, Ishmael Bain, 19, and Derrick “Warlord,” Joseph, 23, were gunned down on Nelson Street, Port-of-Spain.
Villagers in the sleepy fishing village flocked to the couple’s home as news spread that the Ramdeens, grandparents of eight and parents of four, had been murdered. Neighbours said everyone liked the couple. One woman, who did not give her name, said normally when she leaves for work at 5 am, she would see Radha opening her minimart. Yesterday when she was passing, she said, the business was closed. “I find that strange,” she said.
Ramdeen said his brother-in-law went to the house to get snacks for his children and called out to Radha, but got no response. He said Ravi, who lives six houses away from his parents’ home, was contacted and he opened the house and made the discovery. The Ramdeens were also the second couple to be killed for the year. On New Year’s Day, Princes Town couple Omardath Deokienanan and Sharon Bahadoor were also killed by men who stormed their home.
Yesterday, Ramdeen also took issue with National Security Minister Gary Griffith’s recent statement that law-abiding citizens had nothing to worry about, as the current spate of murders were “criminals killing criminals.” “That might be possible, that may be what is going on in some cases. But what you have is monkey see, monkey do. People killing here now. Now it reach the peaceful areas, the rural areas. Areas where people would come to breeze out,” he lamented.
Ramdeen said his parents were law-abiding citizens who always opened their home to everyone in the village. He said last month, after years of pleading, his parents began burglarproofing their home and only one window was left to burglarproof. This was the window the killers used to get into the house. “It was one more window. Just this week they said they were going to put in the burglarproof,” Ramdeen added.
“I never expected my father to die like this. He was ailing, so you know, so I was preparing for him to take in and die, not to die like this.” Senior Supt David Lewis, Senior Supt Cyril Harry, Southern Division Task Force and Cedros CID and Homicide officers visited the scene. PC Shiva Siewdath of the Cedros police is continuing investigations.
Police responded to a report of a fatal shooting at Green Street, Arima, around 8 pm where the body of a maxi taxi conductor was found. Officers on the scene could not positively identify the victim.