Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 2nd 2017 Contents news A7
Thursday, November 2, 2017
STORIES BY RADHICA DE SILVA
Pensioners Nateram and Ivy
Jagroop narrowly escaped death
when arsonists fire-bombed their
home in Princes Town yesterday.
Jagroop, 79, of Perry Young
Road, had just returned from
his garden when he noticed a
strange green car parked on the
roadway near his house, shortly
after 9 am.
Instead of investigating,
Jagroop said he decided to take a
bath because he was tired. As he
headed to the bathroom, Jagroop
said he heard two loud crashes
followed by an explosion.
“One of the bombs hit the
wardrobe and the other hit the
bed. I thought to grab my deed
and my keyboard because I like
to play my lil music and sing my
bhajans (religious songs) but
the fire was spreading quickly. I
called out to my wife to get out
of the house. Everything burn
down in a matter of minutes,”
Police said two molotov cock-
tails had been flung from the
front of the house, striking the
sliding glass windows.
Neighbours heard the couple’s
screaming and went to their aid
but the fire spread rapidly. Their
son Seelochan who was down-
stairs quickly rushed to their aid
when a passing motorist told
him the upper floor of the house
was on fire.
Ivy, who suffers from heart dis-
ease and a low blood count, was
brought out of the house safely
but Jagroop suffered minor
burns on his arm and back. Their
car was also burnt along with
everything else. A team of fire
officers led by acting FSSO Ar-
rindell and including fire officers
Rooplal, Joseph and Jervais from
the Princes Town Fire Station
responded to the fire and put it
Seelochan said the house
and valuables were worth over
“Right now we don’t even
know where we would sleep. I
cannot understand this. Why
would anyone do this to us,” See-
A distraught Ivy added, “I
couldn’t even save my deed.
All I have now is the clothes on
my back and my husband has
his old garden pants. We lost
everything. We had no land
dispute with anyone. We have
no enemies. We live good with
people and we accustomed to
leaving the gates wide open.”
Now that this has happened, the
pensioners said they would have
to take additional safety precau-
Police say they have no mo-
tive behind the arson. Remnants
of the molotov cocktails were
taken for forensic testing. Any-
one wanting to help the family
can contact them at 337-7053 or
Anyone wanting to share infor-
mation about the arson can con-
tact Crime Stoppers at 800-TIPS.
Protesting parents of students attending the Siparia
Union Presbyterian School, who have been waiting
for more than two years for completion of their new
school, are being asked to stand down and have pa-
The plea came from the Minister in the Ministry
of Education, Dr Lovell Francis, who assured that
completion of the new school building, which is 90
per cent complete, remains one of the ministry’s top
Francis said the ministry was dealing with an issue
which has hindered the completion of the structure.
However, he did not want to give any details.
“There are some confidential issues that the office
of the Attorney General is dealing with. There is an
issue that I cannot talk about in public. Our plan is to
finish the new school. That is a top priority,” Francis
said. Asked whether payment to the contractor was
one of the issues, Francis said yesterday.
A source said the contractor Construction Services
and Supplies Limited is owed over $10 million by the
Government. However construction was halted be-
cause the Government failed to pay the contractor
for works already completed. A meeting was held
yesterday between company officials and the minis-
try and it was agreed that once a payment is made,
construction will continue.
In an interview yesterday, president of the school’s
PTA Reard Niamath said they were tired of waiting.
For a third consecutive day, over 80 parents staged
protests at High Street, Siparia.
He said it was nonsensical that the Government
was continuing to spend money to fix a temporary
structure when the monies could go towards finish-
ing the new school.
Niamath said since 2016 they have been protesting
for the school’s completion and they were assured
by Francis that it will be completed by January this
“It is almost a year that we waiting. We will es-
calate protests if they do not complete the school,”
He added that some parents were now thinking
about boycotting the Secondary Entrance Assess-
“Our Standard Five pupils have already lost three
weeks of school when they were in Standard Four
and one month in Standard Five. Some parents are
looking to transfer their children and others are
sending them to extra lessons,” Niamath added.
He said the parents will mount more protests
A source at the Presbyterian Board said following
discussions it was agreed that three Standard Five
classes and one Standard Four class will be accom-
modated at the Iere High School while one Stand-
ard Four class will be housed at the Siparia Hindu
The other Standard Four class will be housed at
the Siparia Road Presbyterian School. However there
have been no accommodation for other classes.
The children were displaced after an electrical fire
destroyed parts of the temporary school structure
last month. The temporary facilities have not met
proper safety standards and parents said despite re-
peated appeals to the ministry, construction of their
new school has not resumed.
Protesting parents of students attending the Siparia Union Presbyterian School.
Minister to protesting parents of Siparia school:
Nateram Jagroop and his wife Ivy Jagroop, victims of a molotov cocktail
attack which destroyed their home at Perry Young Road, Princes Town,
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