Essequibo business community urges Dartmouth protestors to clear road
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Burning debris on the roadway at Dartmouth
Burning debris on the roadway at Dartmouth

PRESIDENT of the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce (EECI), Aadil Baksh has issued a call, on behalf of the Region Two business community, for the residents of Dartmouth to clear the blocked road so that the free movement of commuters and vehicles can resume.

A fiery protest **erupted on Wednesday after Orin Boston, who operates the “Ease Meh Stress” bar in the region, was shot by an officer of the Guyana Police Force’s special weapons and tactics (SWAT) unit during an operation at his Dartmouth home.

Residents started burning debris on the main access bridge, thereby preventing the free flow of traffic. Pedestrians were also barred from passing.
On Thursday, the situation remained the same as commuters and vehicles were once again barred from entering or leaving the community. More ranks were sent to the area to monitor the situation, and maintain peace and order. No injuries have been reported.

Baksh, during an interview with this publication, said the current “vandalism” of the roadway and blockage of traffic by the protestors must be swiftly resolved, so that the people in the region can enjoy free movement.

“We believed that the protestors’ refusal to deny fellow Essequibians access to services and goods will result in harm to the most vulnerable among us, especially the farming residents of riverine, outlying areas, who depend on this roadway to sell their produce and essential supplies,” Baksh said.

He said the ECCI is, therefore, calling on all parties affected during this “emotional time” to consider these actions which are going to affect everyone. He used the opportunity to also urge the relevant authorities to secure the roadway and restore its function in a manner that is safe and decisive.

Meanwhile, when this publication visited Dartmouth on Thursday morning, several burning tires and other debris were blocking the roadway.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting of the young father of two have angered Boston’s relatives and residents.

The protestors are demanding justice. They have said they want the officer who fired the fatal shot to be charged. The rank according to senior members of the force, is currently under close arrest and is cooperating with investigators.

Police in a press release issued several hours after the shooting, had said ranks were conducting an anti-crime operation in the Police Regional Division 2 during which, at about 04:40 hrs, they went to Boston’s home to conduct a search.

“During the search, there was a confrontation between Orin Boston and the police, resulting in his being shot in his upper left arm. Orin Boston was rushed to the Suddie Public Hospital, where he was pronounced DOA,” the release said.

Boston’s wife, Feona Boston, has claimed that her husband was asleep in bed when he was shot.
Acting Commissioner Nigel Hoppie has since assured residents and relatives that “no stone will be left unturned” to get to the bottom of the matter and that a thorough investigation will be conducted.

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