The Defense of Our Women
by Rakesh Rampertab
[Editor's Note:
This letter was sent three times to both
Stabroek News and the Chronicle between early September and October 4, and was refused by both. It was even altered to sound a bit more moderate, to no avail.

Is it a case of discrimination against sentiments that raise the concerns especially of Indians?]

THE US Government is ready to deport at least 100 criminals (out of a total of some 240) back to Guyana, whose government is now scrambling to make preparations to accept and deal with this staggering revelation. If it does not, the US government will suspend all issuance of visas.

Guyana, as we all are aware, is in no shape or form to sustain such an arrival. We are currently living in a state of fear, as a result of a series of extreme criminal activities since the elections in March. Only two weeks ago, two Sophia residents died as a result of being shot; Mr. Garvin France was shot three times (in mouth, stomach, and foot), and Ms. Jagdai Singh who died about one week after being shot in the stomach. Businesses have become especially targeted, and poor families have not been excused.

Since March, more than 90% of those attacked have been Indians, and most of those being brutalized, raped, stripped naked, beaten with gun butts, cutlasses, knives, big sticks, have been women. Dhanmattie Harrycharran (Success, ECD) has been stripped naked in front of her children. Her 11-year-old daughter was threatened with rape. Kalowattie Briglall who is 6 months pregnant, was beaten and stripped naked. Her 8-year-old daughter had a gun placed to her throat. Babita Bhola was beaten with a large knife and threatened with rape. Her baby child was grabbed and flung away from her. In Fryish, Corentyne, an old woman and her daughters-in law are beaten severely with cutlasses, to the point that the old woman could not speak for a few days after. Ina and Sonita Roberts were beaten on their heads with gun butts; Indrani John was beaten severely about her body with a “big stick”; Deowattie Brijlall was beaten from which she suffered a broken hand.

Business woman Rookmin Rajkumar-King who lost a son in 1999 to bandits, is attacked and terrorized. Her application for a gun has thus far been futile. So is the one for Bidiwattie Tikchand, who was shot and killed when bandits attacked her family’s shop. Meanwhile, Indians are being arrested and jailed for having weapons illegally; only this week, Deonaught Challu (24) and his wife who has a 9-months-old infant, Amanta Challu, were sentenced to prison for at least 1 year apiece for the possession of a .38 revolver and one 9 mm pistol, and three rounds of ammunition. When her lawyer protested that this was harsh for the woman who has an infant to care for, he was thrown out of the courtroom.

Who will care for the child? Isn’t this period very critical for the mother-child relationship? This woman did nothing except to hide a package (guns) in her yard when told to do so by her husband. We know that Indian women generally do what their husbands tell them to do. I am not saying that she is lying when she said that she knew not that the package was guns. What if she was telling the truth? And if she did not, so what? Our society has forced people to dig holes into their backyards. People with legitimate reasons (as shown above) are being refused guns so what are people to do? Instead, we have a criminal system that punishes a mother by separating her from her infant who is still breastfeeding. THIS is our democracy. Need we wonder why a magistrate, Indian at that, was attacked at Albion?

Meanwhile, out there in the society, in the REAL society that this magistrate seemed to have forgotten about, there are criminals planning…to beat and assault members of the women populace to get their loots. Meanwhile, these 100 criminals are greasing their palms in anticipation of returning to Guyana, where there are many mothers and daughters and grandmothers to brutalize, rape, and kill. They are anxious to return because, unlike the Challus, they have no babies to breastfeed; they do not have to hide their guns or worry about being sentenced because they’re never caught.

Expect more women to be stripped in front of their children. Expect more women to be shot while their husbands watch helplessly. Expect more women to be buried, leaving children motherless. After all, this PPP government that used to cry foul about the PNC and “kick-down-the-door” is a real sham government which is quite ready to do its “best”; i.e. hand over donations to families of crime victims. Do not expect the police to walk on water; they cannot and will not provide adequate protection until many years (if at all). And do not expect the US government to keep these criminals because our men are only armed with big sticks and cutlasses, and continue to be silent on the issue of GUNS. What you should expect, prepare yourself psychologically for, is the assaulting of our mothers and wives and sisters and daughters. Pray that these new bandits do not develop a taste for virgins, because they will not threaten to rape our 11-year-olds. They WILL rape them.

sept 11, 2001 [Reprinted from
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