Family faces hardship with murder of breadwinner
By Kim Lucas
March 24, 2003
It was a scene all too familiar these days - a murdered breadwinner, a wailing widow and children left in doubt over their future. That was case of the Baksh family at Meten-Meer-Zorg West on the West Coast Demerara last June.
Mohamed Kayan Baksh, just 47 years old, had left the secured upper flat of his home to use a washroom in the yard on the night of June 27. It was close to midnight when the calm was suddenly shattered by gunshots. Almost simultaneously, gunmen began breaking windows in an effort to enter Baksh's modest home.
Inside, his wife, two children and other relatives were madly scurrying for cover as the gunmen riddled the wooden cottage with bullets. After the attack, they found the former Guysuco worker under his home in a pool of blood.
"He come downstairs to pass some water and, in the space of about a minute, we hear a gunfire... then another shot run off on the house, on the walls. I thought they just fire pon he [Mohamed Baksh]. I never click that he get shot," Mohamed Wazim, Baksh's 24-year-old son had told this newspaper the morning after the incident.
No one could have left their home to render assistance to the family, since the gunmen started shooting at other houses to keep neighbours at bay.
Almost nine months later, Jerina Baksh continues to keep the memory of her husband alive.
"I love my husband dearly. I feel like he is alive still, within my heart. I just don't feel like going anywhere. He is buried at the back and I can go and visit any time," the still grieving woman told Stabroek News recently.
Her only disappointment, she said, was the fact that no one in authority visited or sympathized with her after the death of her husband.
"Since the incident, nobody came back... no police, or nobody, came back to say anything. We have not heard anything about the incident. Everything just lef like that," the woman said in a choked voice. She was also never told whether the perpetrators were ever caught.
One day after Baksh was shot dead, the police reported that five men from the West Coast Demerara had been taken in for questioning.
But since then, it has been tough for the Baksh household. Mohamed Kayan Baksh was the main breadwinner, operating a modest shop below his home. The couple, although having a grown son, were still trying to keep their young daughter in school.
Today, the family is swamped with bills with nowhere to turn.
"We try to make it on our own... I was a seamstress and afterwards I got sick [with a heart condition]... then I am a diabetic, so I had to stop working and my elder son he used to manage this business and it really don't bring we nothing much... We try to make much and the bills are so hard to pay... Like the bills alone take the money," the widow lamented.
According to her, three days after her husband's death, she called a minister of the government seeking some assistance, but was snubbed.
"When I ask [name provided] for his assistance, he put down the phone on me. I called him on the third day when my husband died... directly [but] he put down his phone. I didn't call him back after he did that."
Mrs Baksh claimed that the murder of her husband has left her shaken; after all, they had been married for 25 years.
"I never thought that things like this could ever happen... at least in an area like this with mixed population. Never!" she said with a distant look in her eyes.
"What are some of the things you miss about your husband?" I asked.
"Everything... almost everything. I had stopped working... he used to full water for me to bathe, he used to drop my net to sleep, he used to see my food ready, get my steam food prepared, he was everything, he was everything to me..."
And it could be that because of the love they shared, that Jerina Baksh does not feel like leaving the country like so many victims of crime have done.
"I am not going anywhere, because my husband is lying right there. Since the incident, all the fear that was there disappear. I just pray every day and every night that God will take care of us."