Just one day after moving into his new home, Barrackpore resident Parmanand “Bahboo” Basdeo, 61, was shot dead while riding to work on a bicycle early yesterday.
Police said, at about 5.30 am yesterday, Basdeo - a worker with the Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) left home to go to work in the area.
Moments later, a gunshot rang out and residents found his body on the roadside with a bullet wound to the head. The father of two lived at Kanhai Road North, Barrackpore with his wife Samdaye Singh.
Relatives said only on Tuesday, the couple moved to the location. For more than 20 years they were living at a nearby house and relatives were unable to give reasons for the couple’s relocation.
Singh said, early yesterday she prepared a meal for Basdeo and he left. She said she heard what sounded like an explosion but made nothing of it. It was only when a neighbour alerted her of what was initially thought to be a vehicular accident that she learnt of the killing. Sgt Ramjag, Cpl Patrick and other members of the Homicide Bureau (Region III) and Southern Division visited the scene.
On learning of the killing, several people, among them Member of Parliament for Naparima Rodney Charles and councillor Rafi Mohammed visited the bereaved family to extend condolences.
Another resident Carlos Samuel, 50, was shot and killed on Sunday outside his workplace at the Public Service Transportation Corporation compound at Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando. The father of two worked as a painter.
“We don’t know the man (Samuel) who was killed. That has to be something unrelated although he is from the area. As far as we know, Bahboo and Samdaye never received any threats for anything. We are very confused right now,” said a relative.
Charles yesterday told Newsday it seems while the government works on the hot spots, people are moving out into other areas.
“It is very sad,” Charles said. “We do not know if this is something related to the area here or if it is a situation with the migration of crime to rural areas. We are noticing an increase. “ He called on government to have a serious evidence-based approach to crime.
The MP proposed that police visit each home in their respective jurisdictions “at least twice a year” so that residents develop a relationship with them. He said, in most instances the first time people meet police is when an incident had already occurred.
He charged government has cut back on various programmes among them the MiLAT and MYPART which create a sense of patriotism in citizens.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, 60-year-old Premchan “Borroughs” Anand was shot dead at Old Train Line in Claxton Bay less than four hours after Basdeo’s killing.
Police said residents heard gunshots and later found Anand’s body on the ground with gunshot wounds to the back. He was bareback and face down. Members of the Homicide Bureau Region III responded as well as PC Ramoutar and other members of the Couva CID. Police said Anand did odd-jobs in the area and had no fixed place of abode.