The call for Mr. Gajraj's resignation is puerile and vindictive
January 21, 2004
May I add my two bits worth to the current discussion about the alleged statements made by Mr. George Bacchus and the calls for Mr. Ronald Gajraj to resign his position as Minister of Home Affairs?
There appears to have been no official or formal report made to the police, the competent authority, by Bacchus. All we are hearing are second-hand reports. I do not think that in such a case the police can properly act where they don't have a report in writing from someone.
The call for Mr. Gajraj's resignation is puerile and vindictive. The PNC has reported it will not participate in any official forum at which Gajraj is present. The puerility and meanness of the PNC manifest themselves when it is demanding that Gajraj should not be allowed to leave the jurisdiction of Guyana. It suggests, therefore, that should Gajraj resign and circumstances such as ill health or other personal matters impel him to leave the jurisdiction, the PNC will take to the streets. The consequences of the PNC taking to the streets need not be spelt out.
But let us look at some other aspects, two of which cause me grave concern. First, Bacchus's allegations: He went all around making serious allegations but has not made written statements to the police, and has refused to attend an identification parade or confrontation to point out the persons against whom he has made serious allegations.
At first his excuse was his lawyer was out of the country and later on he exclaimed, "Jesus Christ, I know the people for over twenty years!" Yet, no confrontation!
In his statements he boasted how he spent his own funds to find out about the criminals' whereabouts, that a submachine gun was used to shoot the men through the window of the vehicles in which they were traveling, and then later he said he had no details of the actual killings of the squad. Having done all he did, speaking with the PNC, Channel 9 and the U.S. Embassy, he is now upset at the furor raised by political parties and other groups over his disclosures, and he believes they are only using his statements for political mileage and he wants them to stop.
Has he now realized he was set up by political and other groups?
The PNC is calling for an inquiry concerning the phantom group. But no call was made for an inquiry into the Buxton phantom group - the criminal bunch that robbed, vandalized and murdered Indians in Buxton, where the army was stationed and no one saw who committed these offences. Was there not a phantom group?
What agenda do the press and the television stations have when they claim that a polygraph test was done, which in fact is now shown to be false? Channel 6 news broadcast it and Stabroek News made it front page headline news. Channel 6 has not retracted the statements. We don't know what Stabroek News will do. Stabroek News also highlighted that Bacchus had confrontations with the alleged killers, but Bacchus himself denied that he attended any confrontation!
Is it a case where Bacchus was set up and when his story was appearing to be suspect the press then resorted to sensationalism and began to publish false stories?
Can the Guyana Press Association come forward and set matters right doing what they have to do, or are the officials sympathetic to these sensational stories when the words of a self-confessed criminal are held as gospel?
The press gave full-page response to Freedie Kissoon's commentary of the happenings at UG. I hope these two or three columns will see the light of day.