LESS than a month after prison officer Devendra Boodooram was shot and killed while on his way home from the Port of Spain Remand Facility where he worked for the past 20 years, relatives have yet to receive any comfort and are still concerned that his killer remains at large.
His wife Asha Boodooram told Newsday yesterday the pain of his loss has become a part of the family’s daily life and they feel that justice has not been done as his killer(s) is still on the loose. She said while life has continued for most others, she and her two daughters continue to cope with the grief of the patriarch’s death and expressed frustration over the worsening crime situation.
“The person who did this is walking around freely and the other persons who are responsible (for other such killings) are walking around freely while me and my family, our lives have changed drastically,” Asha said. “I can’t come to terms with that and no amount of comfort can help heal these wounds for my family. Its sad that this country is where it is today, so many people are hurting for senseless murders.
Too many people have to be in their homes without a father, without a mother.”
On January 26, Boodooram, 50, became the latest prison officer to be murdered as he was shot while seated behind the wheel of his car on Frederick Street, mere meters from the Remand facility.
His death stirred panic among his colleagues who believed the killing was linked to a video of masked prison officers beating bound inmates. There were renewed talks between the Prisons Officers Association, the National Security ministry, the Office of the Attorney General and the Police Service to address the issue of violence towards members of the protective services.
In addition to the grief of having lost their father, 45-year-old Asha says her two daughters Tisha, 20, and Nasya, 16, are now struggling with their academics, as her older daughter had to return to school at the Florida International University the day after the funeral and her younger daughter is expected to write CSEC examinations in June.
“Every day my daughter is crying in Florida where she is studying.
She says ‘Mommy I can’t concentrate, I have my exams today and I can’t concentrate. I couldn’t do it the way I’m accustomed to doing it’. I see her on WhatsApp crying and I’m down here. Nasya will be writing CXC this year and she too has been crying herself to sleep.”
Asked what her message would be to the nation’s leaders, Asha said urgent action is needed by Government to curb crime, and called on all stakeholders to do what was necessary to take back control of TT. She adds that while she would not like to comment on her situation even more, she said she remains deeply pained by the loss of her husband, the man many affectionately called “Boods”.
At Boodooram’s funeral, Prisons Commissioner Gerard Wilson, quoting the lyrics of Aaron “Voice” St Louis’ soca hit Year for Love, warned criminals that “Fire will bun yuh” if they continued to distress his officers.