Tragic end to 24 years of abuse as human torch Berbice woman dies

Stabroek News
December 28, 2006

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After spending an agonizing two weeks in hospital, Dularie Bissoondyal, the Berbice woman who suffered burns to 95% of her body at the hands of her former husband, passed away last Monday.

A day after dousing his ex-wife with gasoline and setting her alight, Ramdial Bissoondyal committed suicide.

It was around 5.45 am on December 3, as the 37-year-old woman was leaving her home at Lot 141 Main Street, Cumberland, Berbice to go and buy fish as she has been doing for years that her ex-husband pounced on her. He drenched her with a liquid, which turned out to be gasoline, and then threw a lighted match at her. He escaped as one of their children Geeta, responded to her mother's screams. When Geeta saw her, Dularie was trying to quench the flames, which had engulfed her body with water from an outdoor drum.

The bottom flat of the house was also on fire as some of the gasoline had spilled on the floor when Dularie was doused. Most of the articles there were destroyed.

The injured Dularie was picked up and rushed to the New Amsterdam Hospital. She was later transferred to the Georgetown Hospital were she remained until she died.

Police in Berbice were on a manhunt for Ramdial who had caused his wife and her relatives much pain and fear over the last 24 years. During that time he had burnt down a family house, broken Dularie's jaw, chopped his uncle-in-law, fractured his mother-in-law's skull and broken his father-in-law's hand among other things.

Ramdial had served sentences at the Mazaruni and Camp Street prisons for inflicting injuries on his former wife and her family.

The day after the incident the wanted man was found hanging from a rope in his mother's yard also in Cumberland, Berbice.

The couple's children said they only attended Ramdial's funeral, after his sisters begged them to go.

Geeta had recently told Stabroek News that her mother, who was in the Burn Care Unit of the Georgetown Hospital, praised God when she heard that Ramdial had died.

Geeta said her mother told her that even if she did not survive the attack she would die knowing that Ramdial was no longer around to torment his children.

When this newspaper spoke to Geeta yesterday she was close to tears as she remembered the torture her mother went through at the hands of her father.

She informed Stabroek News that her mother died from pneumonia.

Geeta said she visited her mother around midday on the day she died and they had talked.

"She was responding to me. I ask she if she want something to drink and she tell me she ain't want nothing. I even rub she foot and I tell she I gon come back at 4 o'clock."

The grieving woman said that when she went back to the hospital, the nurse told her that her mother had just passed away.

Dularie who was buried last Thursday leaves to mourn her four children, her parents and other relatives and friends.

Two days before this incident Police Constable 18729 Kumbarran Singh shot Latchmine 'Kavita' Jarbaran, 31, of Hampshire, Corentyne, a mother of three, dead at her mother's house after the woman attempted to end their relationship. Constable Singh then mortally wounded himself with his own gun, which he had earlier uplifted from the Rose Hall Police Outpost.