Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 27th 2017 Contents A14 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 27, 2017
Princes Town MP Barry Padarath said the
harrowing experience of bandits invading
the sanctity of his grandmother's home and
holding members of his family hostage
during a robbery, has left him with one
conclusion --- no matter your title
or station in life, criminals do not
"People go through this every
day and as a Trinidadian, you tend
to become numb to it, but only
when it hits home can you iden-
tify what people go through. Crime
and criminals do not discriminate.
My experience has taught me that
title does not matter. Every citizen
in this country is a potential crime
victim," Padarath said in an interview
He said he never felt more hopeless
and helpless as he watched members
of his family, including children, made
to lie on the floor by the bandits who robbed
them of cash,jewelry
and cellphones, un-
able to do anything
last Friday after
a Ramayan to
have been a
ent story. You
hear and read
who have lost
loved ones in
a situation like
these. People have been shot, raped. All of my
relatives, including some of those who had come
from abroad for the three-night prayers to cel-
ebrate my birthday, were in the same area after
all of the guests had left. We all could have been
wiped out in that single incident, but now I feel
a sense of gratefulness," he said.
He said he believes the situation was diffused
when a friend who was with him, saw an oppor-
tunity and ran outside to alert the police.
"She was brave, she put her life at risk to go and
call the police, even though they came half of an
hour later,but I think this diffused the situation
as they ran behind her. Luckily she escaped with
A short while before the attack, Padarath said
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, MP
Dr Roodal Moonilal, other MP's and members
of several regional corporations were among
guests who had left the second of this three-
night birthday celebration. He said there was
paid security from the TTPS, but the attack came
after the police had left and family members had
gathered in one of the family rooms talking. He
said the incident was very emotional and has
left them all traumatised.
He said the police took a report on Monday
around lunch time, but to date, no one has been
A Santa Cruz family whose home was almost
destroyed by a landslide following heavy rains
last weekend is seeking the Government's help
Emily Sookraj, of Jaggan Village, said hundreds of
thousands of dollars in damage occurred after loose dirt
and water smashed through the walls of the bedrooms.
The family was able to salvage a television and
dining set from the ruins. Sookraj said 13 people
were affected by the incident including a pregnant
woman who is due to give birth soon.
Sookraj said although public officials visited on
Sunday, she is still awaiting word on how soon al-
ternative accommodations can be made for them.
Officials of the Ministry of Social Development
also visited the family to deliver some groceries
and forms to be completed for social assistance
in the interim.
Sookraj said five mattresses were also delivered to
She said the occupants of the house had to seek
temporary shelter at the home of her sister, but this
could not continue for long as that house was also
in danger of being crushed in a landslide if the rain
continued to fall.
She said with cracks in the walls, the structure was
also deemed unsafe --- but with no other option right
now, she said they would continue to stay until the
"We don't have anywhere to sleep or even lie down.
The men are sleeping on the floors and we are ensur-
ing the baby and expectant mother is comfortable."
She said they were in need of five more mattresses.
Sookraj said while she and her family were grateful
for the assistance received thus far - they needed
much more in order to start rebuilding their lives.
Sookraj said they were advised to find an apart-
ment, following which the State would pay $2,500
per month towards the rent for a maximum period
of three months.
Sookraj appealed for government assistance in the
form of an HDC unit, for which she said they were
prepared to rent.
Having occupied the land for the past 52 years,
Sookraj said the last time such an event occurred was
seven years ago but she persevered and managed to
rebuild her home and life. Now, she remains uncertain
as to the future.
A car drives past a boulder that came down
during a landslide along the Saddle Road in
Santa Cruz on Monday. PHOTO: ANISTO ALVES
MP Barry Padarath
Links Archive July 26th 2017 July 28th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page