Massacre of 11 people of Indian origin in Port of Spain


Bounty on Guyanaese Indians’ killer

Port of Spain: The government of Guyana has offered a reward of $150,000 for fugitive Rondell Rawlins, who is believed to be behind the massacre of 11 people of Indian origin last Saturday. 

     An official of the Guyana Police Tuesday confirmed that Rawlins, a former soldier of the Guyana Defence Force, was on the run and all efforts were being made to capture him dead or alive. 

      There are reports that he is dead, but police cannot confirm this. Guyanese of Indian origin are in a state of shock since the Saturday massacre of the 11 people in Lusignan village, about 15 km from capital Georgetown. Most residents of the village are of Indian origin. 

     Police believe that Rawlins, who belongs to the Buxton community that is dominated by Guyanese Blacks, is behind the murder of the people. 

     The Buxton community is known as the hotbed for racial strife, killings and protests against the Indian-led government. And Rawlins had last week allegedly threatened mayhem if the Georgetown Criminal Investigations Department (CID) failed to find his pregnant 19-year-old girlfriend, who has gone missing. 

      The ethnic Indian community has launched protests, condemning the government for failing to offer them safety and security. President Bharrat Jagdeo has sought assistance from the United States and other developed nations to provide more aid to the country’s impoverished security forces.
 
     The roughly 3,000 police officers and 2,000 soldiers of the country are ill equipped to handle the threat posed by increasingly brazen gangs.

Kidney sale by desperate parents


     Patna: At a time when an international kidney sale racket on the outskirts of Delhi is making headlines, the impoverished parents of a toddler suffering from blood cancer in Bihar say they are willing to sell their kidneys to raise money for his treatment.

     Amarjit Rai and his wife, residents of Shahpurpatori in Samastipur district, about 100 km from here, are desperate to sell their kidneys to save their only son, Sunni, who has blood cancer.

     They have been roaming the streets of Samastipur looking for prospective buyers over the past few days. They require Rs.250,000.

The couple is desperate. “Sir, I am ready to sell my kidney for the treatment of son,” Rai told IANS.

He left his native village along with his wife and son last week to hawk his kidney for money in the state capital.

“Our kidneys are up for sale. But we will sell them for not less than Rs.250,000,” Rai said. A landless farmer, Rai was working as a rickshaw-puller in Delhi till last year to earn a livelihood for his family.

Rai said his son developed health problems after a quack (doctor) in Delhi administered some medicine that had expired.

“Since then, my son has been ill and when we consulted the Delhi-based Hindu Rao Hospital for treatment, the doctors told us that he was suffering from blood cancer,” Rai said.

Doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital as well as those in Patna said the treatment was costly and “would not be possible without money”.

“I returned from Delhi along with my family because life in the capital was expensive. I made efforts to raise money, knocked on all doors but everything failed. Now I have no option but to sell a kidney for my son’s treatment,” Rai said.

Like thousands of poor people in rural Bihar, Rai migrated to Delhi in search of a livelihood and worked as a rickshaw puller. But he was forced to return to his native village after his son was found suffering from blood cancer.

Rai’s son Sunni was admitted to the children’s ward of the Sadar Hospital in Samastipur Monday for treatment and doctors assured him of help.

“They promised to arrange for a medical loan of Rs.25,000 for initial treatment. But it will not meet the cost of treating blood cancer,” Rai said.

(The author can be contacted at imran.k@ians.in)