GIHA calls for independent probe into killing squad allegations
Stabroek News
January 24, 2004

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The Guyana Indian Heritage Association (GIHA) is calling for an independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations that a government minister had connections with a death squad that has carried out several murders over recent months.

GIHA said in a press release on Tuesday said that the government must be aware of the importance and urgency of such an inquiry since accusations have surfaced linking Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj with the alleged phantom death squad. The organisation says that government should welcome an inquiry that would allow the minister every opportunity to answer the accusations being levelled against him.

GIHA notes that states depend on their disciplined forces to maintain law and order and as it had noted in its crime report and in its submission to the Disciplined Forces Commission the PPP Government has not acted to correct the ethnic/racial imbalance of Guyana's police and army, leaving them as partisan forces.

Government being unable to deal effectively with wanton crime created a vacuum that was filled by an alleged mercenary force, the release contended. "If citizens find no legal force to protect and defend them, they will resort to illegal and covert measures to protect themselves," GIHA declared.

It said further that democratically elected governments are duty bound to uphold the rule of law and to deal with criminal activities through the legally constituted institutions of the country's disciplined forces and the judiciary.

GIHA also reiterated its call for the government to create a professional police and army that would reflect the composition of Guyana's people and would act to protect and defend all of the country's citizens.