CN Sharma says beaten in Success after accusation of reckless driving
June 18, 2002
Leader of the Justice For All Party (JFAP) and Channel Six television station owner, Chandra Narine Sharma, was reportedly beaten by two men in Success, East Coast Demerara, Sunday afternoon following allegations of reckless driving.
Sharma told Stabroek News that he had gone to Success in response to reports about the condition of the road and other problems facing the community.
After spending about two hours in the village, Sharma related, he attempted to leave but found the road blocked with tyres, zinc sheets and other debris. Some 200 persons surrounded his car, with many shouting obscenities and claiming that he had knocked down a woman.
The woman gave a statement to the police yesterday in which she said Sharma was driving fast on the road and grazed her skirt. She said the impact caused her to jump and she slipped into a nearby drain.
Sharma said that two men accosted him in his car. He said that the two men hit him and held handguns to his head. One of them, he said, had a .32 automatic pistol. He said that community policing group member Parmanand Sukhu and a young woman then went to his rescue. Video footage taken shortly after the incident showed Sharma with a torn shirt.
The young woman, he said, pleaded with the men not to kill him and held onto the hand of one of the armed men causing his gun to drop in a nearby drain. The woman, he said, was pushed into the drain also and footage showed her partially covered in mud.
Sharma said: "They beat me in my car. At no time did I get put of the car." The front of his car was also damaged, he said.
Stabroek News was unable to contact Sukhu but according to an interview he had with `News Today' yesterday, he had gone into the village to attend a birthday party. On seeing the street blocked he asked why. He was briefed about the allegation and he advised the two men to await the police.
`News Today' producer Neaz Subhan of Channel Six, who went into the village along with cameraman Adrian Ally after he received a call from Sharma, said that when they arrived in the street a group of persons converged on his car and told him "no filming, get out." However, he said that while they were talking to him the cameraman was already out of the car and persons were threatening to "take away the camera" and to "break the camera."
Subhan said that he saw an unarmed, uniformed policeman who left the scene shortly after he had arrived. He said he reversed slowly out of the street. On the road, he said, he saw the policeman, who told him that Sharma was still in the village. He took the policeman to the station, where the lawman reported that Sharma had knocked a woman off the street. Some time later, the same policeman and another one returned to the area and Sharma was invited to the station where he gave a statement.
Sharma said that this was the fourth time in four years he had been beaten by men bearing the same surname. He jokingly said that there were three more persons bearing the same surname still to beat him.
The street, where the altercation occurred is relatively narrow and is in need of upgrading. (Miranda La Rose)