Family demands thorough probe into death of murder suspect in lock-ups

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has been tasked with investigating the death of a Corentyne farmer who allegedly died while in custody at Whim Police Station on Saturday.

The lifeless body of Suyjit Ramotar, also known as ‘Mono’, a 53-year-old rice farmer from Letter Kenny Village, Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) who had confessed to murder was discovered hanging by a piece of jersey which he allegedly ripped and tied onto the grill of his cell.

Ramotar was arrested and subsequently admitted to killing Joshua Hardatt, also known as ‘Money’, a Welder of Bloomfield Village, Corentyne whose body was discovered on Wednesday last at Auchlyne Cultivating Dam.

In fact, his body was found hours after police had instituted murder charges against him. He was due to appear at the Whim Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. An autopsy performed on the remains of Hardatt gave the cause of death as shock and hemorrhage due to lacerations to the brain as a result of multiple fractures to the skull.

However, following Ramotar’s death, his family is calling for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his demise.

Chandradat Ramotar told the this publication on Sunday that after they received news of his brother’s death, he went to the police station but received no answers to his many questions.

“All the police were silent,” he said while noting that he and other relatives were ordered to leave the compound of the station after which the gate was closed.

Another brother, Dalim Ramotar said it was he who received a phone call from the police informing him of his brother’s demise.

“Yesterday (Saturday) I received a phone call from them at five minutes past five that I am needed at the station urgently. Upon arrival, the officer told me that my brother hang himself in the lock-ups. I asked him ‘What you said’, and he said ‘Your brother killed himself in the lock-ups’, and I told him I would call my next brother.”

Dalim related that family members want answers as to what transpired while his brother was in custody.

“No family member did not get to see how my brother looked at the Whim Station… a senior rank told me that my brother mess and he took his clothes and wipe up himself. He said that the man didn’t have clothes and we must bring some clothes for him. So, I know the clothes that I buy. If the man hang himself with that clothes… we did not get to see the man. I hope the police get pictures to show us,” the brother related.

Nevertheless, Chandradat related that his brother admitted to him that he had committed the act and that he would be charged. In the same breath, he requested that for him to take care of his assets and children.

Meanwhile, Hardatt’s mother, Lalita Hardatt expressed her joy when she heard that her son’s killer had committed suicide.

“I feel very happy about it but it still hurt me about my child. God knows how much it hurts to lose my son like that,” she said.

It was reported that after committing the act on Tuesday evening, Ramotar was arrested in Police Division Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara). During interrogation, he confessed to killing the welder whom he had accused of having an affair with his wife while he was incarcerated.

During the confession, he told detectives that on the day in question, he confronted Hardatt who denied the allegation and it was then he became furious and dealt Hardatt several blows to his body.

After realising that he was fatally wounded, he drove Hardatt’s car and left it along the dam after which he made his way out of the region.