The International Women’s Resource Network (IRWN) says that if reports of harassment were made against Roger Singh, he should have been arrested before he was able to murder his estranged wife, Naiee Singh on Monday.
Naiee, 31, an administrative officer at Venture Credit Union, Couva was shot twice by Singh, 33, outside her workplace along Noel Street.
Singh, a former instructor at the National Energy Skills Centre, then shot himself dead.
IRWN president Sandrine Isaac-Rattan told Guardian Media that Naiee’s murder was beyond unfortunate.
Isaac-Rattan said the IWRN was not casting aspersions, but based on reports, coupled with their investigation, Singh’s prior actions warranted his arrest.
“Based on reports, he had been stalking her for months and also verbally abusing her and members of her family.
Such actions by an individual who seemed to be mentally deranged and obsessed were enough for him to be arrested and charged,” Isaac Rattan said.
The IWRN is urging victims of domestic violence and their families who suffer verbal and physical abuse to call the Gender-Based Violence Unit at 999 and demand action.
“Don’t be afraid to be frank in disclosing details of the situation as we can’t afford to have another fatality through domestic violence.”
Although Naiee’s friend told reporters that she had a protection order against Singh, Isaac-Rattan said those orders in their current format cannot and would not work. On June 21, 2018, the IWRN submitted recommendations to Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, but it Isaac-Rattan said they seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.
Among the proposals were an increase in penalties for breaches from $9000 to $50,000 and imprisonment from three months to three years for a first conviction.
Al-Rawi said Naiee’s murder was a tragic situation and while she had a protection order against Singh that was known by the police, family and friends, murderous intent was difficult to manage.
He said his office was nearing the completion of draft amendments that will bolster the effectiveness of protection orders.
These include changes to several Acts of Parliament, that will see stiffer penalties for those breaking protection orders, new policies on how police respond to domestic violence reports and electronic monitoring.
He said those involved are happy with the proposed changes as they include the work of several stakeholders, including the IWRN.
The proposals are expected to be offered for public scrutiny soon.
Al-Rawi said history was created on Monday when T&T had its fastest trial; 15 minutes because of legislative amendments that allow for judge-alone trial.
These legislative changes also gave judges the power of a magistrate to hear domestic violence matters. And with an increase in courts expected in the next eight weeks, he said matters will be able to be heard sooner.