Trauma counselling for persons affected by protest, Human Services Ministry says
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Minister Persaud engages a man on Wednesday with injuries to his face at Mon Repos, ECD
Minister Persaud engages a man on Wednesday with injuries to his face at Mon Repos, ECD

FOLLOWING the violent protest along the East Coast Demerara (ECD) corridor, on Tuesday, which resulted in significant damage to property at Mon Repos village, government will offer counselling to persons who witnessed the violence or suffered bodily damage or damage to property.

Human Services and Social Security Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud, on Wednesday, visited the Lusignan and Mon Repos markets to offer support to affected persons, a statement from her ministry said.

Ministry officials “will be present on the Mon Repos Market Tarmac from 09.30 hrs to noon on Friday to provide trauma counselling, support and other support the Ministry has to offer,” the statement from the ministry’s official Facebook page read.

“Most vendors confessed they are traumatised by the occurrence with some nursing permanent physical injuries,” the statement read further, as it noted also that Minister Persaud listened to the plight of the vendors who were physically injured or suffered damage to property as a result of the protest.

The Guyana Chronicle reported, recently, that compensation will soon be delivered to Mon Repos Market vendors who were the victims of alleged crimes committed by persons who leveraged a protest action along the East Coast of Demerara corridor for their personal gains.

The initial protest on Tuesday started at Haslington village, where persons took to the street and chanted for justice, after they were misled by a false media report that the police officer, purportedly involved in the killing of Quindon Bacchus, had been released.

What started as a verbal chant quickly escalated as scores of persons made their way to Mon Repos, where they reportedly beat vendors, robbed them and destroyed their property.

Continuing the engagement on Wednesday, Minister Persaud listened to the concerns of vendors

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) managed to intervene and curtail the situation, but, by that time, vendors had already suffered significant losses.

In the aftermath of the event, President, Dr Irfaan Ali visited the market, where he assessed the damage and engaged persons who were affected and other residents of Mon Repos.

It was there that Dr Ali assured persons that they will be duly compensated and the perpetrators of those crimes will be brought to justice.

He related that those who instigated and planned those protests were responsible for it being conducted within the confines of the law.

President Ali said while everyone has a right in a democracy to let their voices be heard, it does not give them the right to loot, steal or harm anyone.

Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, S.C., had also weighed in on the matter, noting: “A perceived injustice can never justify the commission of another injustice.”

The Attorney General said the alleged wrongful death cannot justify or be the basis of robbery, assault, and malicious destruction of property.

“It has already been disclosed that the investigation into the alleged shooting which is believed to have ignited the mayhem is ongoing and shall conclude shortly. Whatever the outcome is from this process, the law will run its course,” the Attorney General had said.

A number of persons have been charged in connection with the protest action.

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