Soldier’s use of service revolver to murder wife was one off instance- Ramjattan

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By Bibi Khatoon

Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan has termed the recent killing of a woman by a Captain of the Guyana Defence Force as “very very unfortunate,” but noted that it was “an obviously bad situation,” where the Soldier did not follow the prescribed rules of engagement.

At around 11:00hrs on March 31, Captain Orwain Sandy emptied his service revolver into the body of his reputed wife, Reona Payne on a street in Alexander Village, Georgetown, after an argument. Sandy then turned himself over the police along with the murder weapon.

Minister Ramjattan in an invited comment on Wednesday said there should have been a more civilized approach to the matter on the part of the Soldier.

“You have to be on that level, far more civilized in your approach in dealing with a quarrelling woman rather than go empty your gun on her but this is a serious development. That is the other extreme of where I suppose, probably troubles at a domestic level obviously,” he told reporters at the sidelines of an event held at the Ramada Princess Hotel, Providence, East Bank Demerara.

Responding to questions surrounding the use of a service revolver in the incident, Ramjattan said: “One swallow doesn’t make a summer” which means a single instance of something is just that; it doesn’t indicate a trend.

As such, the Minister said it will not be wise to take away the weapons from law enforcement officers as he questioned what would happen when they are attacked by “true criminals.”

Orwain Sandy and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President David Granger

“This was an obviously bad situation and what’s the logic behind the question there, that we take away the service revolver of all policemen? Cannot be. We have a situation whereby we gonna trust what’s gonna happen out there by our policemen- they’re gonna use it in accordance with the rules of engagement – that was obviously not the rule of engagement, and so we just have to do some introspection and see what best practice can be put into being.”

Following Saturday’s incident, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) immediately interdicted the Captain and launched an inquiry into the incident.

The GDF added that it “would want to reassure the general populace that this is an isolated incident and is not reflective of the Values and Standards of the Guyana Defence Force.”

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