Sunday 9th September, 2007

 

Folks scared of white goat with gold chain

 
 
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Pundit Prabhoodeo Maharaj prays for the community of Granville.

BY RADHICA SOOKRAJ

Nine years after five teenagers of the Cedros community committed suicide within a week, panic has once again gripped the area, since a young mother died after setting herself afire.

While the incident may have been passed off as another suicide, villagers believe that demons drove Dohmattie Seebran, 27, to her death.

As a result, scores of terrified villagers held an inter-faith service at Granville Community Centre on Friday night, in a bid to shield their community from evil.

Worshippers chanted Hindu mantras, bhajans, gospel hymns, Muslim Qaseedas and Christian incantations, as they participated in a candlelight procession through the streets from six o'clock.

Pundit Prabhoodeo Maharaj, a police corporal assigned to the Cap-de-ville police post, led the service, along with Presbyterian Minister Ivan Paul, Roman Catholic priest Fr Wilfred John and Pundits Suren Maharaj and Mannie Maharaj.

Prabhoodeo said they were determined not to have a repeat of 1998, when Vanessa 14, Balraj Baboolal, 18, Aamir Jeetan, 16, Sunil Ramdeen, 16, and Michelle Samsoondar, 18, took their lives within a week.

He said several young women had been acting odd during the past month, after experiencing strange sensations. He said one girl was found wandering in the bushes and when they found her she was almost delirious.

She said later someone was calling her into the forests.

“Another woman said she was at the back of her house when she felt something holding onto her. She couldn’t move,” Prabhoodeo said.

He said several others had come to him reporting that they heard strange voices in their heads compelling them to kill their children and end their lives.

The brother of one of the affected women said they were all terrified, because of the recent developments. He said young women were afraid to walk the streets after dark.

Men were afraid to go to their gardens, while children were afraid to go outside to play.

Resident Ramdeo Maharaj said many people reported seeing a white goat, wearing a gold chain. “I haven’t seen it, but many people did. Everybody is scared.” he said.

Pundit Prabhoodeo said the goat might have been used in a sacrifice which went awry.

“People have their cults and they have unleashed a spirit in the village by doing this sacrifice.”

The pundit said searches were made in the village for the goat but all in vain.

Voices in her head

Meanwhile, villagers are still baffled by the suicide of Dohmattie Seebran. Days before she set herself on fire, Seebran told her husband Mukesh that she was hearing voices in her head.

Speaking at his Boodram Trace, Granville, home, Mukesh said Seebran never showed any suicidal tendencies.

He said they had a happy life and loved their three-year-old daughter Celine very much. He said two weeks before her death, Seebran began complaining of headaches.

“I told my wife to take a rest, because I felt she was just tired. I never expected her to do something like this.”

He said the voices were telling Seebran to kill her three-year-old daughter Celine and then kill herself.

While Seebran was at home alone on August 27, she doused herself with a bucket of kerosene, lit a match and ignited her body.

She languished for three days in San Fernando General Hospital before dying on August 30.

Seebran’s sister-in-law Vera said on the morning of the incident, Seebran admitted that she was not feeling well.

“She tell me that something was in her head and wanted her to do bad things. I tell her that it was probably a demon, and she should pray to get rid of it.

“I left the house to go to San Fernando, and the next thing I heard was she set herself on fire,” Vera recalled.

Since the death, Celine has become even more attached to her father. “She doesn’t like him to go anywhere. She cries all the time.”

She said two other women had experienced similar feelings. (RS)

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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