MURDERED market vendor Hemraj Sinanan, 52, of Boodoo Trace, Penal, took his last breath with the rakhi (sacred thread) tied around his wrist.
His younger sister Susan Jagdeo cried as she described her brother as a humble man who cared deeply for his seven sisters and mother.
On Raksha Bandhan (Brothers’ Day) on August 15 her brother vowed to protect her always.
“He came to my workplace in Penal and was all smiles because I had the rakhi to tie on his hand.
“My brother vowed to protect me. He was a father figure to all his younger sisters. He told me not to worry about anything in life – and today I have to look at bloodstains where he was murdered in cold blood,” Jagdeo said.
The government cannot curb the crime situation, she said, because innocent people are being killed mercilessly.
The family and neighbours gathered at Sinanan's home yesterday.
The last time Jagdeo saw her brother alive was on Raksha Bandhan. The grieving sister said their mother, Phulmatie Persad, 74, was shocked when she heard her son had been robbed and murdered.
“My mother always told us to work hard and stay away from trouble,” Jagdeo said.
She said her brother planted food crops and went to the market every day to sell vegetables. He and his wife of 28 years, Leelawatie Sinanan, she said, were a very hard-working couple who were gradually renovating their home.
Leelawatie was taken to hospital under police protection. Relatives could not say what condition she is in, as they were not given any information.
A neighbour who called the police declined to be on camera.
He said there is a business place on Boodoo Trace that attracts a lot of customers and very often he would see strange people in the area.
“It is obvious that they marked Sinanan, because on Sunday he sold vegetables and came home with cash and they broke into his home in the night to get that money,” he said.
Police reports say around 2 am yesterday, three armed men robbed and killed the market vendor. Sinanan was found on the floor of his bedroom after being shot in the head. His wife was tied up and held at gunpoint in another room. Two of the armed men forced Sinanan to tell them where the cash and valuables were before shooting him.
They then left with $8,000 in cash, $15,000 in jewellery, two phones and a laptop.
His wife was awakened by the noise and saw a man with a gun standing over her. He tied her hands and feet with duct tape and tie straps. After the bandits left she crawled into the other room where she found her husband dead.
When she raised an alarm, neighbours came to help and called the police. Snr Supt Wayne Mohammed, ASP Ali Mohammed, Insp Corrie and Ramesar responded.