Three buried

Stabroek News
August 23, 2001

Three of the victims of last Friday's shooting and ambulance crash on the Corentyne were laid to rest in their respective hometowns, while the other two are to be buried today and on Saturday.

Mahendranauth Samsundar, formerly of Lot 40 Church Street, Line Path and driver of the ill-fated ambulance PDD 9506 and Saif Ghani, 18, of Bank Road, Springlands were buried in their hometown on Monday. Janet Best, who was seven months pregnant, was buried yesterday, following an emotional service at her Number 78 Village residence.

Samsundar, an employee of the Ministry of Health, was off duty on the fateful day when he received a telephone call stating that an emergency had arisen at the Skeldon Hospital and that he was needed to transport injured persons to the New Amsterdam Hospital some 54 miles away.

The only son of Marie Samsundar, who raised him single-handedly after the death of his father some 18 years ago, has left to mourn his wife, Neeta and five sisters.

Ghani, the youngest victim of last Friday's incident was said to be an innocent bystander when he was shot by members of the Berbice Anti-Smuggling Squad (BASS) during a protest which turned ugly.

It was reported that Best, 32, was exercising on the foreshore behind the BASS base when she was injured in the neck by a bullet during the protest. She was being transported by the ambulance to the hospital when it rolled over killing her.

Valerie Howard-Alves, the nurse who was killed in the crash, will be buried today, while Steven Angel, the other person shot dead by BASS members on Friday, will be buried on Saturday.

Those still hospitalized at the New Amsterdam Hospital are; Elizabeth Pitman, who lost her right eye; Davindranauth Bhola and Ramnauth Mahase. Their conditions were assessed as stable.

Meanwhile, the police are continuing their investigation into Friday's shooting, as well as the shooting to death of three persons earlier which led to two days of protest which peaked on Friday.

The bodies of the three, Azad Bacchus, his 15-year-old son Shazaah and his 18-year-old nephew Fadil Alli have not been buried as yet, as an independent pathologist is expected to perform post-mortem examinations on their bodies. Their relatives refuted the official police statement that said the men were killed in a confrontation with BASS members. The relatives of the three had stated that the men were executed by BASS members.

President Bharrat Jagdeo has since met some of the relatives of those who died in Friday's road carnage and shooting and has assured them that thorough investigations will be carried out.