Monday 18th February, 2008

 

San Juan bar owner killed

 
 
 
 
 
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BY MARSHA MOKOOL

“They came with the intention to kill him.” These were the words of anguish of grief-stricken relatives of Jairam Ramlakhan, who was shot to death in his bar at Chanka Trace, El Socorro, San Juan, on Saturday evening.

In support of their view, the family pointed out that no money or valuables were taken from the bar. Police are seeking three men in connection with the murder.

Homicide detectives at Arouca Police Station are conducting investigations.

Cries of pain, fear and outrage filled the family’s home yesterday as they set up a tent in preparation for the wake of the 55-year-old proprietor of 4 Aces Bar.

Their anguish deepened as family members learned that a videotape recording of the murder, captured by a surveillance camera installed inside the bar, had reportedly gone missing.

Ramlakhan lived at the back of the bar at Lower El Socorro, with his 24-year-old friend Shivanni and his 25-year-old son Bruce. The upstairs portion of the house was under construction.

Ramlakhan’s older sister Sumintra, said she and Bruce were at her house next door to the bar watching TV at around 5.30 pm when they heard an explosion.

“We came downstairs to investigate the noise and we see Shivanni on the step. She bawl out ‘they now shoot Jai in the bar.’

“She said she (Shivanni) was in the bar when two men came in and ordered a drink.

“Jai was behind the counter and it had another customer in the bar. She say she went in the back to clean when she heard a gunshot.

“When she peep in she say she see him (Ramlakhan) lying on the ground covered in blood.”

Residents said they saw a silver Nissan Almera parked outside the bar with a man in the driver’s seat.

Ramlakhan, whose wife and daughter are in New York, has been running the bar for more than 20 years, according to relatives.

They said he had recently begun closing the bar early at 6 pm because most of his regular customers were frequenting the neighbouring bars Crab House and K Mart.

Through the windows of the 4 Aces Bar, about six spots of blood could be seen on the tiled floor with three tables and eight chairs in disarray.

The counter at the right of the bar was separated from customers by burglar-proofing and a cage containing a parrot was on the left.

In another room at the back of the bar was a pool table. In the centre of the bar was a burglar-proofed door with the surveillance camera mounted above it.

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