Gajraj probe commission
Indian group says terms of reference limited
Stabroek News
May 18, 2004

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The Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) says it welcomes the establishment of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to look into the alleged involvement of Minister of Home Affairs Ronald Gajraj in extra-judicial killings, but is deeply concerned about its limited terms of reference.

The commission is being set up under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, Chapter 19:03. Justice of Appeal Ian Chang, SC has been named to chair the commission which will include former army Chief-of-Staff, retired major general Norman McLean and retired deputy commissioner of police Ivan Crandon, who heads the Police Service Commission.

The IAC in a statement yesterday said it is deeply concerned about the limited terms of reference of the investigation although it is encouraged by President Bharrat Jagdeo's announcement that the government would consider investigating the 2002 jailbreak, the plight of the victims of criminal violence and political linkages to the 2002/2003 crime wave.

In this light, the IAC is calling upon Jagdeo to launch a separate inquiry as soon as possible as a complement to his Presidential Commission of Inquiry and to include the "investigation of all politically/ethnically-driven criminal acts that occurred in Guyana subsequent to the 2001 general elections."

According to the IAC, these investigations will lead to the unmasking of the masterminds and the accomplices who executed the unlawful acts that resulted in a wave of crime and terror. The IAC says it hopes these investigations will result in the prosecution of those responsible, and that the ethnic dimension of crime in Guyana will be fully documented and eventually closure will be brought to the matter.