Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 6th 2013 Contents CRAZY FOR YOU
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, July 6, 2013
People s National Movement
(PNM) Chaguanas West candidate
Avinash Singh is accusing Hous-
ing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal
of abusing his powers and vic-
Singh and other farmers face
eviction from acres of farm lands
in Cacandee, Felicity.
On Thursday, Moonilal visited
the land, referred to as "The
Coconut," which, he said, would
be used for residential lots for for-
mer Caroni workers from Felici-
ty.Singh accused Moonilal of using
intimidation tactics against him,
since part of the lands which the
minister visited was being farmed
by his family.
"This is definitely politically
motivated and it is victimisation
of the highest degree.
"It is only because Government
realises that a son of the soil and
member of the PNM is contesting
the election that they are trying
everything in their power to abuse
me as a citizen," Singh said yes-
terday in a telephone interview
with the T&T Guardian.
Moonilal, contacted yesterday,
dismissed Singh s statements.
He advised Singh "not to get
desperate and overreact."
"There is absolutely no cam-
paign to victimise him. I only came
down to visit. He should not be
scared of me," Moonilal said.
He said the use of the land was
"No decision has been taken.
However, we are clear that it will
be used to provide housing and
Mr Singh and all his family mem-
bers will have an opportunity to
make their case with their docu-
ments and so on before the com-
missioner of state lands or a mag-
istrate if necessary," Moonilal said.
He questioned why Singh was
He added: "We just stepped foot
on a piece of land to look at hous-
ing needs and already the PNM
candidate, PNM leader and PNM
General Council are reacting as if
they are guilty of something. Due
process will be followed.
"No action will be taken without
due process. They are being com-
pletely paranoid much too early."
He said he first had to determine
if the land Singh and his family
were occupying was state land.
The minister said the land in
Cacandee was earmarked under
the former government for hous-
Singh, who said he was man-
aging the land for his relatives,
denied the minister s statement.
He claimed the lands occupied
by his family and the farmers form
part of the Felicity Food Crop Proj-
ect, which was started under the
former PNM regime, after the clo-
sure of Caroni (1975) Ltd.
While he admitted that the
entire area was state lands, Singh
said, he and all the other farmers
on the lands had documents.
"We have state land status,"
Singh said. "It is a documentation
that if a person is planting the state
land, the farmer has all access to
incentives. It is recognised by the
State, the Ministry of Food Pro-
duction and the Commissioner of
In fact, he said, farmers have
been able to get loans using their
He said the lands in question
were earmarked for two phases of
Phase One, he said, was "never
earmarked for housing" but for
agricultural use. Part of phase two
was going to be used for housing,
he said, but after research the for-
mer government relocated the land
Singh said he and the farmers
would fight to retain the lands.
"I am asking the Government
to do what they deemed fit, they
will pay the political price and they
will be taken to court.
"I am going to stand up and I
will stand firm. I will be repre-
senting every single farmer in my
community," Singh said.
He denied receiving notices to
vacate the land.
Minutes after police counselled a Gasparillo man
over a domestic dispute, crime scene investigators
were removing his charred remains from his burnt-
Police said Larry Sookdeo, 52, a former employee
of the Board of Inland Revenue, died in a fire which
destroyed two houses on Charles Street yesterday
Sookdeo and a close relative got into an argument
on Thursday night.
Gasparillo police visited Sookdeo and a female rel-
ative twice and counselled them after which the fire
Neighbours said during the argument Sookdeo
locked the relative in a room and as she struggled
to open the door smoke began coming from a bed-
She escaped but Sookdeo remained in the house.
Police responded and had to use a plank to remove
his remains from his bedroom. The wooden floor of
the bedroom collapsed.
Moonan abusing powers
PNM candidate facing eviction says:
Man dies in fire
after domestic row
Up to late yesterday detectives were unable to
determine the cause of the fire.
Minister of the People and Social Development Dr
Glenn Ramadharsingh visited affected residents and
delivered emergency supplies.
He provided emergency food cards and offered
clothing and home construction grants to help rebuild
Crazy Bobby and Polly perform a dance during Must Come See Productions'
musical comedy, Crazy For You, at Queen's Hall, St Ann's, on Thursday
evening. PHOTO: ANDY HYPOLITE
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