Teen experiencing hell in custody
Genital area soaked with methylated spirits then set alight by police
In what may be one of the worst cases of police brutality, ranks from the Leonora Police Station have been accused of setting a 14-year-old boy’s genitals alight while questioning him about the murder of former Region Three Vice Chairman, Ramnauth Bisram. Kaieteur News confirmed the report yesterday after obtaining graphic photographs of the severely burnt lad. The teen has been in custody since Tuesday and his parents, Doodnauth Jaikarran and Shirley Thomas, allege that ranks had them going from one police station to the next without disclosing his whereabouts.
The parents said that they eventually confirmed yesterday that he is being kept at the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station. However, the ranks did not allow them to see him.
One man was charged yesterday for Bisram’s murder, and his attorneys are also alleging that he was badly beaten (see story on page 6).
It is unclear whether the teen is still being considered a suspect or whether he has received any medical treatment for what appeared to be severe burns to his genitals, midriff and upper thighs.
The lad’s parents, who reside at Canal Number Two Polder, said that they are too poor to retain the services of an attorney, but Kaieteur News confirmed late yesterday that a prominent attorney has offered to represent the teen and his parents.
Sources said that the torture occurred at the Leonora Police Station and claimed that a police sergeant, whom they named, assisted in brutalising the young man.
Doodnauth Jaikarran, the teen’s stepfather said that he was in his bedroom at around 21:00 hrs on Tuesday when he heard someone calling for ‘Buck Boy’, which is his stepson’s nickname.
Jaikarran said that he went outside and saw his stepson kneeling on the floor, with some policemen standing over him.
He said that the ranks informed him that the teen was a suspect in the murder of Ramnauth Bisram. They then informed Bisram and his reputed wife that their son was being taken to the La Grange Police Station.
Jaikarran said that they went the following day to La Grange Police Station and confirmed that their son was being detained there after he answered from the lockups when they shouted out his name.
But Jaikarran claimed that when his wife returned on Thursday she was told that her son had been transferred to the Leonora Police Station, and that was when their trek from station to station began.
According to Jaikarran, the Leonora police ranks advised her to check at the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station, where the ranks informed Jaikarran’s reputed wife that her son was not there, either. He was also not at the Den Amstel Police Station.
“They send me to all the stations; from Wales to Leonora from Leonora to Wales and up to now I can’t see me son,” Ms. Thomas said.
Mr. Jaikarran said that he decided to try to locate his missing stepson.
On Thursday, he took meals for the lad to the La Grange Police Station, where the boy was originally detained. A female rank told Jaikarran that his stepson had been transferred to the Vreed-en-Hoop Station.
“At Vreed-en-Hoop, a fat man say go to La Grange. I go back to La Grange and say ‘what yuh all got me on?’
Mr. Jaikarran said that he began to fear that his stepson had died in police custody.
Yesterday, he widened his search to the Brickdam Police Station, but his frustration mounted when a police officer suggested that he check at the Leonora Police Station. He went back there, and was told by a senior police officer to check with the Vreed-en-Hoop Police.
There, a rank finally confirmed that the lad was in custody there.
“They say ‘you can’t talk to him or see him’. However, Mr. Jaikarran said that he heard his stepson answer from the lockups when a police rank called his name.
Yesterday, an angry Jaikarran vowed to resort to the courts for justice.
He said that the teen had done some carpentry work at Mr. Bisram’s house some time ago when the building was being constructed.
Kaieteur News understands that at least three other young men from Canal Number Two are still in custody. One of them is a 17-year-old whose father, Hydar Ali, claimed that arresting ranks slapped the lad and two friends before taking them into custody on Wednesday.
Mr. Ali also alleged that one of the policemen kicked him while he was lying in his hammock.
Meanwhile, the slain man’s father-in law and brother-in-law were released from custody yesterday.
The brother-in-law, Gobin Ramustapha, who is about 50, was detained at the Wales Police Station.
They were detained on Monday and a female relative alleged on Thursday the police refused to tell her where the older man, 72-year-old Mohamed Ramustapha, was being held.
She said that the men were taken to a private physician to ascertain whether they were mistreated while in custody.