Sitting under a tree in Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, secretary of Fisherman and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) Gary Aboud made a tearful plea to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to mediate with
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Kublalsingh back in court today
Highway Re-route Movement leader Dr Wayne Kublalsingh and two other members are expected to appear before a Siparia magistrate today. The trio was arrested by the police on Saturday in Penal during a protest to stop work on the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin. Kublalsingh, Vandana Boodai and Ramkawan Bhagwansingh were charged with obstruction. Kublalsingh was also charged with resisting arrest.
They were granted bail by a Justice of the Peace on Saturday night at the Penal Police Station. The re-route protesters had surrounded and mounted a bulldozer at Gopie Trace, demanding that it be moved off the area. They also clashed with highway supporters who came out with their placards demanding that they desist protest action and allow the highway to be built.
Kublalsingh had to be bodily removed by the police from on top the bulldozer. Commenting on the incident at a function in San Fernando on Saturday night, Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah described the incident as a travesty of justice.
He said: “TheMSJ stands in support and solidarity with Dr Kublalsingh and the members of the Highway Re-route Movement. It is a travesty of justice when a group of people can take a matter to the court seeking an injunction to have work like on the highway stopped pending the determination of the legality of the project given the Armstrong report and other evidence that has developed.
“Then you have the state delaying the hearing of the matter by all kinds of legal manoeuvring and proceeding with the construction to the point where by the time the court has determined the matter one way or the other, it will be too late construction will be finished, that is a travesty of justice.
“And then to heap one injustice on to another the police then come and arrest people who don’t now have a choice but to protest because their legal challenge is being frustrated by the state and so the state is driving people to protest and then using the police to arrest them that is injustice heaped upon injustice.” Yesterday the Re-route camp near the construction site was empty. Officials moved out testing equipment, but left the bulldozer on site.