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File picture: Torrance Mohammed stands proudly in front of his wall of accomplishments at his Marabella home

Cultural icon Torrance Mohammed died yesterday, after being brutally beaten and robbed in San Fernando on Monday.

Mohammed had served at the San Fernando City Corporation as a councillor and deputy mayor for several years.

He also was the founder of The Torrance Mohammed Culture & Arts Foundation.

Guardian Media was told that he was coming out of his car at Torrance Street, Mon Repos, near the Eugene Joseph School of Dance, when he was attacked.

According to police reports, 90-year-old Mohammed, of Marabella, was attacked while dropping off fruits for a friend at Torrance Street, Mon Repos, San Fernando.  At around 2:20 pm, police say, Mohammed was accosted by a man who was not wearing a face mask. The man reportedly grabbed Mohammed’s cell-phone and gold chain, and then shoved him to the ground. Mohammed, who was found sitting on the pavement complained of body pain and was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital where he was warded in a critical condition. Police said he suffered a broken rib, along with injuries to his back and spine.

San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello said he got the disturbing news on Monday evening that Mohammed had been ambushed and his gold chain and phone stolen.

At the time he spoke with Guardian Media, Torrance Mohammed was unconscious in the Intensive Care Unit.

“We understand that if he survives this, he may not be able to walk, and I don’t know what to say about this,” the mayor said, referring to the severity of Mohammed’s injuries.

“Torrance will be 91 this year, I understand, and he is very frail,” the San Fernando Mayor had told Guardian Media before Mohammed passed away.  “Why would anyone use this kind of force?  If even you want to rob him, why you want to use that kind of physical force and damage him?”

Regrello told us at the time of our interview with him, if Mohammed passes, the country will be losing another hero and trailblazer.

“And somebody who contributed immensely to the development of the arts in San Fernando,” he added. “His role in the drama festival, his role in the arts council and more importantly, for the Arawaks Dance Group, and the Creative Arts Centre on Circular Road.”

Torrance Mohammed succumbed to his injuries around 9:08 pm at the San Fernando General Hospital, on Tuesday 25 May 2021.

Mayor Regrello said they had received correspondence from several stakeholders asking that they do something to honour Mohammed and they were moved last month to rename the street at Naparima Bowl.

According to the mayor, Torrance Mohammed was aware of their plans and was happy and pleased the City was planning to acknowledge his contribution in such a manner.

“We were waiting on the ease up of COVID and the SOE to do the installation of the street sign,” Mayor Regrello explained.

He added that last year, Mohammed also was honoured in the Declaration of the Year of the Arts with an award and a cheque, for his contribution to cultural development in the country.