INDIAN national Ganesh Iyer, the brother of Shrikanath “Shri” Iyer, who was murdered in Trinidad on November 10, has written to both the Prime Minister and Commissioner of Police, appealing to them to not let this death be another statistic.
He said his brother loved TT and was at peace in this land, which they often saw in television documentaries and heard about from their father, who worked in TT for 20 years, when they were children.
He said Shri brushed aside opportunities to migrate to Canada or Singapore, where Ganesh lives, as he was excited for the opportunity to explore this country.
“Unfortunately," he added, "it’s been more than a month (since Shri's murder) with nothing concrete to show from investigations. All we hear are some rumours with no basis.
"I cannot believe that somebody could just pump bullets into a thriving life and walk away unscathed without any fear of repercussion.”
Iyer forwarded a copy of the letter he sent to Dr Rowley and CoP Gary Griffith to Newsday, hoping it could “expedite the investigation and help our family get justice for Shrikanath.”
Shri Iyer worked as a manager with General Earth Movers Ltd for eight years and lived at Purcell Street, Vistabella with his father, who also worked with the same organisation for 20 years. His father has since returned to India.
Shrikanath Iyer was ambushed and shot dead by unknown assailants as he parked his Subaru Legacy in his yard on the night he died.
No one has been held for his murder.
“I want to make fervent appeal seeking justice for the gruesome killing of my brother Shrikanth,” Iyer wrote in his letter.
He said it was sad that his brother, “who had the potential for scaling greatness, is now reduced to a murder statistic in a country that he loved and cared for so much.
“He was my beloved brother – the brother that I was so proud of and whose life was snuffed out by an unexplained act of brutal violence. I looked forward to getting old with him. His loss has bereft us of happiness and has left a permanent void in our lives.”
He said his family is devastated.
“We are simple people who lived a life of honesty, integrity and hard work. We are in deep anguish and pain and we beseech you for justice.”
He said his brother “wholeheartedly embraced Trinidad, her people and her culture.
“Over the years I saw him meld effortlessly into Trinidad’s way of life. He developed a natural Trini accent, began to use Trini lingo and mannerisms, enjoyed soca and chutney music and developed a taste for local cuisines.
“He had opinions on local issues, actively took part in community events, and contributed generously to social causes.”
Iyer said whenever he questioned Shri’s connection with TT, “He would smile and say that it was not a foreign land. 'India is my
Janma Bhoomi (land of birth) and Trinidad is my
Karma bhoomi (land of performing action).'
“He was simply at peace in Trinidad.”
Shri’s strong bonds in the community led him to instal benches at Palmiste Park, and he had plans to raise funds to construct toilet facilities for women joggers. He was a generous donor to the NGO Rapidfire Kidz Foundation, headed by his friend attorney Kevin Ratiram, who also appealed for Shri’s death not to end up being a cold case.
Earlier this month, Rapidfire Kidz installed a plaque in his memory at Palmiste Park and Ratiram said at that time, “I appeal to the police service to knock on every door, to view every camera, to analyse every cell phone and to speak to every person who can possibly shed some light on who was responsible for his death.”