Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 19th 2013 Contents A5
Friday, July 19, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Hungry and naked in the Penal
forest, four-month-old Sanjay
Seepersad s screams were what led
police to a clump of bushes where
a 29-year-old male relative dumped
him on Wednesday night.
Sanjay s 20-year-old mother,
Nadia Hosein, cried tears of joy when
they were reunited after she had ear-
lier watched in horror as the relative
held her son over a pond and threat-
ened to end his life.
Hosein, the mother of two, lives
in abject poverty. She said the night
of terror began around 6.30 pm
when the relative returned drunk to
their Rampersad Trace, Clarke Road,
home and started an argument over
a cellphone charger she had lent his
In a fit of rage, the man picked
up a piece of wood and struck her
across her legs as she was about to
breastfeed the child.
On hearing Hosein s screams, her
mother-in-law, Rajdaye Basdeo,
rushed to quell the fight.
However, the man picked up the
child and ran into the road, where
he boarded a taxi and went further
into the trace.
On reaching a bushy track, he
jumped out of the car and walked
about a quarter-mile into the forest
with the baby.
Hosein and Basdeo followed and
after a lengthy walk through the
bush they found him holding the
child over the pond, shouting: "I
will drop him, you know."
She said: "After he walked by the
pond, he sat down and he wanted
to kill my child. He said he wanted
to throw the child into the pond."
She said tears were streaming
down her cheeks as she pleaded with
him: "Don t do this, I want my boy
Instead, he tried to climb a
coconut tree, saying he would drop
the baby on the ground.
Hosein called the police, who said
when they arrived in the forest the
suspect told them: "If you come any
closer I will drop the baby in the
CID and Task Force officers, led
by Cpl Persad and PC Singh,
approached the man, who threw the
child into the bush as he tried to get
Police wrestled him to the ground
and after putting up a fight he was
taken to the police station.
Police said a file is expected to
reach the Office of the Director of
Public Prosecutions today.
Baby Sanjay was taken to the
Siparia Health Centre where doctors
gave him a clean bill of health.
Despite the ordeal, Hosein said
she still wanted the relative to return
home, saying she loved him and he
was the sole breadwinner of the fam-
ily.However, she said, he first needed
to stop drinking alcohol and end his
Despite Sanjay s escape, a life of
hardship awaits as his mother, a sec-
ondary school dropout, cannot find
With the relative arrested, the only
source of food now comes from Bas-
deo s $3,000 pension cheque which
has to feed ten mouths.
Hosein said: "I want him back but
I want him to stop drinking his rum.
I want him to control himself but if
he is abusive to me, no."
The family, who do not have basic
amenities---running water, lights,
toilets and a paved road---said none
of them had money to travel to the
Penal Police Station yesterday to
carry a change of clothes for the
Explaining her plight, Hosein said
her parents died when she was a
child. Her mother was stabbed to
death by her stepfather during a
domestic squabble and her father
later drank poison when she was 15.
After that she moved between fos-
ter homes and abusive relatives
which ultimately led her to a life
with the suspect.
She said she felt bad about her
situation and hoped she could find
some way to uplift her family.
Police yesterday described
Hosein s circumstances as disheart-
ening and said although they had
tried to help her in the past, there
was only so much they could do.
The recent distribution of land
leases to former sugar workers is
not linked to the July 29 Chagua-
nas West by-election but is only
the fulfillment of a 2003 promise
to Caroni Ltd workers.
That matter was cleared up yes-
terday by Minister of Food Pro-
duction Devant Maharaj at the
post-Cabinet media briefing at the
Prime Minister s Office, St Clair.
Responding to questions on the
matter, Maharaj said: "We had to
go to court in order to force the
last PNM administration to live up
to Justice Deyalsingh s judgment
Shifting attention to the former
Estate Management and Business
Development (EMBD) company
formed under the last administra-
tion, Maharaj said following the
court order, that entity spent some
$2 billion trying to develop infra-
structure on the former Caroni Ltd
"Two months before we came
into office, $200 million in con-
tracts were assigned by the EMBD,
for which we cannot find a single
shred of paper. It was shredded
before the last administration left
and this is what we inherited," he
In order to distribute the leases,
a certain amount of work had to
be done before. Maharaj said.
"So it s not fair (to say it s polit-
ical strategy) and this is not the
first time we have distributed leas-
es. This is the second occasion,"
Maharaj said the handing out of
the leases was a fulfillment of the
Government s 2010 manifesto
promise to deliver the land prom-
ised to former Caroni Ltd workers,
which they never got.
He said many of those who were
to receive two-acre parcels of agri-
cultural land after they were dis-
placed when the sugar factory was
shut down died without receiving
it. Some 405 leases were presented
to former sugar workers last week
Another 1,700 residential leases
would be distributed by the end
of the year, the Government has
Acting Foreign Affairs Minister
Dr Roodal Moonilal says Jack
Warner s diplomatic passport was
"not a parting gift" but the prop-
erty of the Government of T&T
which must be returned when a
minister no longer holds office.
Moonilal said so in response to
statements made by Warner after
surrendering the passport. Warner
resigned as a minister in April and
as a consequence the diplomatic
passport must be returned, Mooni-
He said cellular phones, keys and
diplomatic passports must be
returned, generally within two
weeks. He said in this case Warner
"held on to his diplomatic passport
for not one but two months going
into three months."
Moonilal is acting for Winston
Dookeran, who is out of the coun-
try. He said the Foreign Affairs
Minister had asked the National
Security Ministry "to assist with
retrieving the passport."
He also commented on a state-
ment by Warner which claimed he
would seek to have the visa on the
diplomatic passport transferred to
a normal non-immigrant visa pass-
Moonilal said that was not pos-
sible. He said there was "no issue
of transferring a visa.
He said attempts were made
previously "to contact Mr Warner
to return the documents."
He also commented on a state-
ment by Warner that years ago
under then prime minister Patrick
Manning he was allowed to keep
Moonilal said at that time Warn-
er held executive positions in FIFA
and a regional football body.
"Mr Warner at this time is just
a little candidate and nothing else,"
He said as a consequence Warn-
er s diplomatic passport "could not
be a memorabilia or a keepsake."
He said the ministry "took its
time to retrieve those documents
and I believe when it became clear
the documents would not be sur-
rendered, I believe the Ministry of
National Security may have gen-
erated a friendly reminder to Mr
He said a diplomatic passport
"is not a parting gift. It is not a
long-service award. It is the prop-
erty of the Government of Trinidad
Asked if it was not an act of dis-
crimination against Warner after
he resigned and was now chal-
lenging the Government as a can-
didate in the July 29 Chaguanas
West by-election, he said: "No,
A child dances on stage during a presentation on Wednesday night of
the play To Catch A Thief put on by villagers of Spring Garden, Whim,
Union and Mary's Hill in Tobago, who came together for the event which
was part of the Tobago Heritage Festival now in full swing. The
production consisted of drama, mourning, dancing and music. The wake
segment led to bongo dancing to show there can be moments of fun,
even in grief. PHOTO COURTESY THA INFORMATION DEPARTMENT
Minister: Land leases just
honouring 2010 promise
CATCHING A THIEF
Moonilal: Jack's diplomatic
passport not parting gift
Night of terror for
Relative threatens to dump him in pond
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