Robbery at Charity
Boy, nine, dead sibling critical
Teens in custody

Stabroek News
September 12, 2000

A nine-year-old is dead and his younger brother battling for his life at the Georgetown Public Hospital following an apparent robbery yesterday at New Road, Charity, that has left residents of the Essequibo Coast reeling in shock.

Dead is Tiab Gafoor, while his seven-year-old sibling, Fawaaz, was up to late last night in a critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, this newspaper learnt. Two lads, said to be about 14 years old, have since been taken into custody, police confirmed. One of them had been accused of breaking into the home some time ago and stealing a quantity of cash.

Fawaaz was air-dashed to the Ogle Airstrip and rushed to the hospital. Stabroek News understands that he had lost a considerable amount of blood.

The gruesome discovery of the bloodied bodies of the two boys was made at around midday yesterday at their residence, 21 New Road, Charity. Imran Gafoor, a 38-year-old vendor and father of the two boys, said that Fawaaz had been stabbed "through and through" his chest, and also had a deep laceration on the head most likely caused by a blow from a heavy object.

Tiab was reportedly already dead when he was found. There were at least three stab wounds to his chest and his head had been bashed in.

Making a valiant attempt to keep his composure, the father said that he left home in his vehicle on Sunday night for the Charity Market where he normally sells groceries, among other items.

Around midday yesterday, he was given the shocking news by a breathless relative that one of his sons had been stabbed to death and another seriously injured. Leaving his goods with a friend, the vendor said, he rushed home and saw Tiab lying dead on ground. Fawaaz had already been taken to the Charity Hospital.

Speaking from Essequibo Coast, an informed resident, who asked not to be named, said that the two boys had been left alone at home yesterday while their mother, Nafeeza, went to the Charity Primary School to seek a transfer for one of her three children. The source said that the mother rang the home at about 1100 hrs and the phone was answered by Fawaaz, who said that he had been "jukked." Alarmed, Nafeeza reportedly rushed home and with the help of neighbours broke into the house. The bloody bodies were lying next to each other and a piece of wood, coated with blood, was not far away. Fawaaz, who was alive, was rushed to the Charity Hospital.

Another resident said that he was at a popular hotel in Charity when they received the news. Together with a crew from the RCA Television Station, they went to the home where angry villagers formed themselves into groups and combed the area. According to the resident, they found some bloody clothes at the back of a yard not far from the Gafoors' home and made a further search. They found one of the suspects hiding under a bridge.

According to the resident, the teenager broke down and confessed after being questioned. He reportedly led police to a knife which had been used in the stabbing. The knife was allegedly taken from the Gafoors' home. Based on further information, another teenager was also arrested and $500 said to have been taken from the home was recovered.

The resident offered the opinion that the grisly incident was probably a planned one. Prodded on what might have triggered the incident, the resident offered that some time ago, one of the suspects had been accused of breaking into the Gafoors' home.

President of the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce, Steve Hemraj, described the incident as a shocking one that was "sad, ruthless and sickening. Justice must be given to the family and if reports are true that the perpetrators are teenagers, then it is even more important. There can be no excuse for such a callous act and if the incident is a reflection of society, then there can be no hope."

Hemraj disclosed that the incident was a "real shocker to the residents of Essequibo."

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