Protesters call for Gajraj to go
Stabroek News
January 13, 2004

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Protestors outside the Brickdam offices of the Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj yesterday demanding his resignation over recent allegations linking him to a death squad. (Ken Moore photo).

The heat was turned up on Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj yesterday when several protesters, including at least one relative of a victim of an unsolved killing, picketed his Brickdam office demanding his resignation.

Bearing placards, they chanted slogans denouncing Gajraj, who, according to a former informant, has been linked to a death squad, which has executed several criminals over the last year or more.

George Bacchus of Princes Street, Lodge, who says his brother was killed by the gang last Monday, claims to have had contact with Gajraj during last year's crime wave. Gajraj has dismissed the allegations, although he does not deny talking on several occasions over the phone with Axel Williams, who is said to have been a key member of the death squad.

At yesterday's protest, PNCR Member of Parliament, Lurlene Nestor, told reporters that the allegations against the minister were serious enough to justify calls for his resignation prior to any enquiry.

According to Nestor, if the government is serious about getting to the bottom of the revelations then it should take quick action to allay the public's fears.

Nestor, who with her colleague Volda Lawrence, was part of the protest, described the minister's statements as "very unacceptable" while describing what transpired as a crime against humanity.

She said Gajraj should resign until a thorough investigation was completed.

One mother of a suspected victim of the squad said she had no trust in the police and the minister whom she said had told her that there was no phantom squad.

"Well if it was not phantom, den is who?" Yvonne Fletcher of 519 East Ruimveldt shouted as she displayed a photo of her late son Lloyd Bourne who was killed on May 18. Residents discovered Bourne's body some 30 metres from the Turkeyen access road with several bullet wounds to his face.

A white car was seen speeding away shortly after several loud explosions.

Fletcher yesterday continued to deny that her son was involved in any criminal activity while identifying some persons as being responsible for his demise.

The woman was adamant that the police had to know something about his death and said that recent revelations had made things clearer. She said her son had been working with the wife of an undertaker who is now in custody.

According to the mother, the last time his family saw him alive was on the same Sunday when he left home for a drinking spot.