Thursday 24th November, 2005

 

Rev makes plea at slain cop’s funeral: Give up the guns

 
 
 
 
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Dr Kenneth Percell, left, and PC Kenwyn Percell help to support PC Janelle Gomez during the funeral of PC Casrajh Mansingh at Balmain Presbyterian Church yesterday.

Photo: Sookdeo Baney

BY RADHICA SOOKRAJ

A final gun salute in honour of slain constable Casrajh Mansingh sounded off at the Waterloo cremation site yesterday, as tears flowed down the faces of uniformed police officers.

The salute was the culmination of a military funeral held in honour of Mansingh, four days after he was gunned down by robbers during a robbery at Swamber’s Inn, Chaguanas.

The funeral was attended by Minister of National Security Martin Joseph, Police Commissioner Trevor Paul and Snr Supt of Central Division Barnette Mayers.

As the salute sounded off, several relatives broke down in tears.

Mayers described Mansingh as an honest, hardworking and dependable officer.

He said a void had been created in the Chaguanas chargeroom after Mansingh’s death.

Rev Daniel Teelucksingh, who delivered the sermon at the Balmain Presbyterian Church, made a stirring appeal for an end to the gun trade.

Teelucksingh said those who smuggle illegal firearms must stop their trade for the sake of T&T.

For those who have illegal weapons, Teelucksingh urged them to surrender it to the police.

“You must surrender all unlicensed firearms or we will never find peace in this country,” he said.

“If you feel you will be persecuted for surrendering the firearms, you can still give it up.

“We have plenty oceans and stream and good soil to bury those firearms and so get rid of them.”

Regarding the recent crime talks between the Government and Opposition, Teelucksingh said parliamentary debates and changes in legislation would never stop the flow of blood if people did not change their ways.

“Changes in the laws will not help if we don’t transform the hearts of people,” he said.

“We live like beasts in a jungle of roaring lions who prey on the defenceless,” Teelucksingh said.

“I hope that the discussions between the Government and Opposition is not another political grand charge and mamaguy.”

Teelucksingh said the Government and Opposition were bent on a power struggle and did not care about the people.

“We spend a lot of money on trivia and our own police officers are forced to work without bulletproof vests,” he said.

“Some of them don’t even have writing paper or other things to make them comfortable.”

Scores of uniformed officers cried when they saw Mansingh’s corpse. The national flag was draped across the coffin as it was led out of the church.

Mansingh’s colleague WPC Pearl Gomez, who was wounded during the robbery, began screaming as the casket was wheeled out.

Cremation took place at around midday.

 

 

 

©2004-2005 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

Designed by: Randall Rajkumar-Maharaj · Updated daily by: Sheahan Farrell