SANGRE GRANDE pensioner Ramesh Hazare is fearful for his life, having made at least four police reports last year about threats and beatings he says he suffered at the hands of a close male relative, who he says wants Hazare’s property.
Making matters worse, the 67-year-old says the police are doing nothing about it.
Hazare recently visited Newsday with receipts of police reports he made, together with a complaint filed with the Police Complaints Authority (PCA). In it he alleges that a restraining order against the alleged assailant was breached repeatedly, with no relief from Sangre Grande police.
He says the relative has demanded Hazare leave his own house and land, and even set fire to a mattress while he was asleep, either to kill him or chase him off permanently. Hazare claimed that the relative also held a licensed pellet gun to his head in an attempt to force him to sign documents, but was never charged.
“Only once they ever come (to the house) to find the gun. And on the second (of November), I feel the heat and I get up and he hit me over the head with a shovel,” which left him with permanent injuries, he said. “I went to the station in Sangre Grande and they give me a medical. I went to the hospital and spend a night there and then they take a statement from me.
“Up to now, the (relative) still walking around and threatening to kill me.” It is unclear whether the alleged abusive relative was ever arrested and charged on the basis of Hazare’s complaints, even though he said there are multiple occasions where witnesses can be relied on for evidence.
Hazare, however, does not believe that the abusive relative was ever charged for the threats and assaults since as he was never told so, nor has he received any follow-up enquiries from police. Because of this, he has been sleeping in his car regularly, sometimes using the car parks of well-secured buildings to keep his mind at ease during the night. He is also struggling with day-to-day expenses, living solely on a pension. He has sought advice from a lawyer and has advanced the case in court privately, but says he is sceptical about exhausting all his resources, with no certainty that he will survive the ordeal.
The relative, Hazare suspects, has more than one motive for chasing him from his home. His common-law wife, with whom he has five children, is of African descent, something the alleged abusive relative disapproves of. He said the relative believes she will inherit his house and land when Hazare dies.
NO POLICE ACTION
“I need my home, my bed to sleep in. I cannot sleep comfortably (at home) with he around. I can’t cook. I have to buy food every day. At my age, I’m not supposed to be living like this. I need the public to know.”
Newsday called the North-eastern Division police for advice on seeking immediate redress from threats of physical harm, particularly in domestic cases.
The officer who answered said a victim should call or visit the nearest police station and they will respond by arresting the offender. If the offender is not present when police arrive, an arrest warrant may be issued in their name.
The female officer said once a report is made to the station but the response does not satisfy the victim, they may ask to speak with an officer of a higher rank, such as an inspector, at the station, and then request a higher authority, if still unsatisfied.
In Hazare’s case, he says he tried to meet the inspector and higher ranks, but because there was little to no response, he went to the PCA. That report was made less than a month ago.
However, he says is more concerned that the matter is dealt with rather than the police face disciplinary action for their apparent inaction.
The officer who spoke with Newsday took Hazare’s contact information and promised to pass his information and the “seriousness of the issue” to the inspector of the Sangre Grande Police Station.
But several days later, when Newsday checked with Hazare, he said he received no call from the police or any authority, and continues to sleep away from his home, where he feels safer.