of the times
No meaningful response to police killings
Government cannot contain the activities of the criminals
The murders are terrifying law-abiding citizens.
developments relating to the abominable crime scenario should
give us cause to reflect on what the hell is going on in this
First we had this allegation by opposition MP Ramesh Lawrence
Maharaj about the existence of a death squad within the Police
Service and in another arm of the security forces.
I am surprised that this revelation did not produce
any meaningful response from the national community, particularly
the upper echelons of the Ministry of National Security.
The only official response came from Commissioner of Police
Trevor Paul who amazingly said he could not say yea or nay
because he did not see the purported accusation.
I am in no position to pronounce on the veracity or otherwise
of the potentially damaging accusation made by Maharaj, a
senior counsel and former Attorney General.
It is true that the MP is a politician and an opposition parliamentarian
at that. It is also a fact that opposition politicians by
nature are wont to make outrageous allegations to score points
on their political adversaries, ie the Government.
But I cannot understand how National Security Minister Martin
Joseph has not found it prudent to pronounce on Maharajs
He cannot be accused of creating mischief under the cover
of parliamentary privilege as the accusation was made in a
public forum. This is what he said in part while addressing
a meeting of the UNC-A at Orange Valley in central Trinidad:
police are actually killing. The Government has created two
police services, one under a commissioner of police and one
under a brigadier.
Certainly not the ranting of a madman. He said the killings
were taking place because the Government cannot contain the
activities of the criminals who are killing left, right and
centre, at will.
Why is it necessary for the authorities to respond one way
or the other to this charge? Simple. The murders are terrifying
the living daylights out of law-abiding citizens and the security
forces are unable to bring this terrible affliction under
It also goes without saying that this situation is not healthy
for the international image of the country.
Can any reader recall that Joseph disclosed some time ago
that some concerned businessmen had requested him to take
certain actions against some of the known criminals? And that
he adamantly turned down such an illegal and outrageous request?
I repeat that I am in no way suggesting that what Maharaj
said was true. Indeed, I have no evidence to support such,
and one would only hope that the politician/lawyer would make
public the information to support his contention.
If this serious allegation is not put down what can we expect
the relatives of certain people killed by the police to conclude?
And we are hearing such claims regularly after loved ones
are taken out, reputed gang members or not.
While we all cannot wait to see the end to this nightmare
that is plaguing the country, we must be careful not to do
anything that we may later regret in this quest to bring peace
and security back to our land.
Death squads as obtained in Brazil were known to use the guise
of getting rid of the lawless elements to settle personal
What must one make of Maharajs claim in the context
of the abysmally low murder detection rate by the police?
Is there a connection between the two?
One can never know unless the authorities come clean with
Again I am not casting aspersions but when these serious allegations
are made and officialdom steadfastly refuses to publicly deal
with them, how do they expect people to react?
I dont think it is okay to simply say, as Dr Williams
once famously said, let the jack--- bray and the issue would
just go away.
One recalls the prompt responses of Mr Manning and Information
Minister Neil Parsanlal when the same Maharaj claimed a member
of the Prime Ministers Cabinet had a US$8 million account,
unknown to the Integrity Commission.
They strongly denied this. I am most surprised too that Parsanlal,
the Governments chief spin doctor, has not rushed in
to shoot down the MPs allegation.
Come on, Neil, you have responded to far less damning accusations
against the Government. What about this one, eh?
The second issue was this incident in Tabaquite where about
seven employees of the Works Ministry were held up and robbed
at their office.
Thankfully no one was injured or killed as the criminals had
enough time to cause death an injury. But the most startling
thing about that episode was the philosophical lecture
the bandits gave their victims while depriving them of their
is what the country has come to, they told their victims.
If our security forces do not get the message from this Tabaquite
escapade, that they are dealing with intelligent miscreants,
we are really in no mans land. These are not stupid
people and if the police intend to beat the criminals by dotish
tactics, they will never win this war .