VIDEO: Stray catchers accused of brutalising Kaneville Family
By Devina Samaroo
In a bid to capture a cow, officers of the Stray Catchers Unit reportedly brutalised a family of Kaneville, East Bank Demerara (EBD), injuring a two-year-old baby in the process.
The family was reportedly walking their cattle home from a nearby pasture at around 16:00hrs Thursday when one of the cows strayed behind.
As they were making attempts to get the animal home, the officers allegedly aggressively tackled the cow in an effort to take it to the pound.
A family member told News Room that 19-year-old Vikash Tulsi and his older sister, Roma Tulsi demanded that the stray catchers leave the cow alone since their home was six houses away but Stray Catchers began to assault the siblings.
The officers allegedly cuffed Roma to her belly and punched her in the face while they tried to push the boy in a nearby trench.
Upon seeing the altercation, their mother, Nisha Hussain rushed out of the home with the baby in her hand, in an effort to save her children.
“After the mother run fuh save them, they [stray catchers] start beat she tuh. When the brother run, they [throw] he in the trench…,” the family member said.
The baby reportedly fell to the ground during the confrontation between Nisha and the stray catchers.
Police eventually responded to the incident and both parties were taken to the Golden Grove Police Station where statements were taken.
When contacted, Sergeant Johnson told News Room in a telephone interview that based on the statements received, the family assaulted the stray catchers first.
He said both the family members and the stray catchers had bruises about their bodies. Sergeant Johnson said he did not receive any report of a baby being injured.
“The stray catchers them was in the area doing some work pertaining to a cow which was on the road and they tried to put it in the vehicle and the family came up and started to assault the stray catchers and trying to pull away the cow. They had a tugging and tugging and it end up with the police,” Sergeant Johnson said.
He said both parties were released on station bail and the matter will be processed in the courts. The cow was taken to the pound.
The family members alleged that the police at the station were clearly on the side of the stray catchers and were rude to the family.
The family claimed that they were made to wait more than three hours at the police station before they sought medical attention at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.
But Sergeant Johnson denied those allegations.
“It was eight to nine statements which the police obtained and when the process was finished then they were asked to go seek medical attention that the Diamond Hospital.”
Just one week ago, another group of stray catchers reportedly seized a flock of sheep that were grazing outside the house of their owner in Meten-Meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara.
News Room was told that sheep were not on the road but were close to the fence of the house. The owner had to pay a total of $49,000 to retrieve his flock as it is $7,000 per animal.
Of that $7,000, $5,000 is paid to the officer who catches the animal.
A source from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) informed News Room that many persons have been complaining of the conduct of the stray catchers.
They believe that the officers are arbitrarily capturing animals just to earn the extra money.
The Stray Catchers Unit was launched in 2011 by then Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee but it eventually become defunct.
It was eventually relaunched in May 2017. The unit falls under the purview of the Ministry of Public Security.