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Re-route Movement’s use of abeer upsets Hindus

Published: 
Monday, March 17, 2014
A member of the Highway Re-route Movement sprays abeer on a bulldozer at the highway construction site in Gopie Trace Penal during a protest by the group on Saturday. PHOTO:RISHI RAGOONATH

The use of abeer by members of the Highway Re-route Movement has angered the Hindu community. Protestors associated with the HRM reportedly threw abeer on heavy machinery working on the project at Gopie Trace, Penal on Saturday. Head of the Hindu Festivals Society (HFS) Thribowhan Seegoobin said the act was nothing short of desecration of the Hindu festival. Seegobin said so yesterday during Phagwa celebrations hosted by the HFS at Antilles Trace  Recreation Ground, San Francique Road Penal.

 

 

He said: “I am disappointed that abeer would be used in a protest like that...it must be respected. I feel they shouldn't bring abeer into a protest like that.” Chairman of the National Commission for Self Help Surujdeo Mangaroo said he  was disgusted. “As a Hindu I was disgusted to see these people use and desecrate my religion,  I have a concern about that,” he said. “We live in a democratic society ad people need to be cautious how you say and do things. 

 

“And this is what happened with the Highway Re-route Movement, you take the abeer and throw it on people's equipment, that is disgraceful.” Oropouche West MP Stacy Roopnarine was also at yesterday’s event. She said two groups came out to demonstrate for and against the highway project. Roopnarine said the National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (Nidco) was trying to put things in place  and manage the impact on the community. Roopnarine said the Government proposed to move entire communities. 

 

“The process of negotiations continue. Two hundred people have been settled to date.”