Hundreds of entrepreneurs, residents and community activities participated in a motorcade in honour of murdered law clerk Andrea Bharatt through the historic town of Fyzabad on Saturday morning, as they called for changes to the criminal justice system.
The motorcade was organised by the former kidnap victim and president of the Fyzabad Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Clint Arjoon.
Speaking to Guardian Media, Arjoon said the frustration felt since Bharatt’s murder will continue unless the government begin re-visiting the Constitution, revamping the Criminal Justice System, improvising legislative policies and outfitting the T&T Police Service with proper resources.
He said that lengthy court cases must be a thing of the past.
“We want to see policy changes within the government and the Judiciary. We want more resources for the police and we also want disciplinary action for officers of the law who fail to come to court,” Arjoon said.
One of the suspects who was implicated in Bharatt’s death had 70 court cases, 21 of which had been dismissed because of the failure of police to attend court.
Arjoon also called for more forensic centres to be established so that there will be no more delays in the submissions of ballistic testing in court.
“Sometimes it takes up to four years to get forensic testing done, Arjoon added.
He noted, “Crime is our business because it negatively affects all of us. It affects the economy which reduces taxes and income for the government. Something has to be done to bring about change.”
Meanwhile, President of the Women Lives Matter Sandra Maharaj called for constitutional reform.
“We want a reliable PTSC service and we also want bar codes for all taxis on the road so that a passenger could get immediate information on all drivers before they enter a taxi,” Maharaj said.
Having seen the mutilated body of six-year-old Sean Luke after he was killed, Maharaj said something must be done to save T&T. She said in the 1980s, her friend was raped and murdered, while her six-month-old baby was beheaded and her husband was also killed in Wallerfield.
“The Law Association is talking about the rights of the criminal but we have rights too. I want my nieces and nephews all the young people to live in peace, not in pieces,” Maharaj said.
She noted that her group was non-political and was concerned about the human race.
“This organisation is not about race, politics, religion but we will stand up against crime perpetrated on women across the country,” she said.
She lamented that several crimes involving women took place this week. The motorcade started in Fyzabad and continued for four miles before ending at the National Mining playground.