Stabbed Aranguez taxi driver warns colleagues to be alert

Aranguez taxi driver Adesh Sookram who was stabbed several times by a bandit who entered his car last Friday. - SUREASH CHOLAI
Aranguez taxi driver Adesh Sookram who was stabbed several times by a bandit who entered his car last Friday. - SUREASH CHOLAI

Three days after he narrowly escaped death when he was stabbed by a bandit pretending to be a passenger, an Aranguez taxi driver is pleading with fellow drivers to take all the necessary precautions while working.

Adesh Sookram, 39, was stabbed in his arm, neck and head by a man at Sundarsingh Drive Extension, Aranguez last Friday.

During the struggle with the bandit, Sookram's car swerved off the road and into an abandoned lot of land.

The suspect ran away but was arrested by police shortly after.

Sookram got out of the car and was taken to the hospital by passers by who saw he was bleeding.

Speaking with reporters during a temporary shutdown of the Aranguez taxi stand in San Juan on Tuesday, Sookram said he wanted justice after the incident and hoped the authorities would do more to address the concerns of taxi drivers.

"All I want is justice. Right now I can't even eat.

"All I want is for them (other drivers) to be safe. Don't let this happen to you. I was lucky enough to get away, but you may not be so fortunate.

"Only my wife and family can tell you what I've been going through in terms of my recovery. Only they have seen the difference in me."

Sookram said he was grateful for the support and assistance of friends, relatives and other drivers with food and other goods.

Aranguez taxi drivers, led by councillor Amit Sookanan (right), give thumbs down to the authorities for failing to tackle high crime in the area. - SUREASH CHOLAI

Members of the Aranguez taxi driver's association, led by their president Ramchandra Temal, temporarily shut down the taxi stand on Tuesday morning in a show of solidarity with Sookram.

Temal told Newsday the safety and security of drivers on the Aranguez route has been a major concern of his for years. He hopes to raise the issues during an upcoming meeting with police from the North Eastern Division.

"For seven years I've been calling for cameras to be installed at that post across the street so we can identify people entering our taxis.

"We don't seem to be getting any respect at all from the authorities, so it's time to take a stand and show that we are serious.

"It's not just the cameras. The drivers are asking for more police patrols in and out of Aranguez."

Temal said there were between 60 to 70 taxi drivers working in Aranguez and advised all of them to be extremely careful especially during the upcoming Christmas season when traffic into San Juan is expected to increase.

Also at the taxi stand was councillor for Aranguez/ Warner Village Amit Sooknanan who said he shared the concern of taxi drivers and called on the authorities to tackle the issue of crime in the community.

He said the prevalence of crime was not only a concern to the drivers, his community was also worried.

"There are some ladies who are very anxious over what happened last Friday. This is simply one too many.

"We are here in solidarity with the taxi drivers. The victim, Mr Sookram, made an effort here today to show he cannot afford to support his family."

Sooknanan said while the divisional police, under Snr Supt Maharaj, were doing their best to maintain order in the area, he still felt more should be done.


"Stabbed Aranguez taxi driver warns colleagues to be alert"

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