Devant: UNC leader exploiting peoples' fears over crime

Former UNC senator Devant Maharaj. -
Former UNC senator Devant Maharaj. -

Former People's Partnership (PP) government minister Devant Maharaj says Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar could be promoting vigilantism through her controversial "light them up" comment at a UNC political meeting in Chaguanas on Monday.

Referring to an incident when a home-owner shot and killed an intruder at her Chaguanas home on July 29, the Siparia MP advised citizens, "When the criminals invade your home, draw your licensed firearm and light them up! Empty the whole clip and reload too. Fight fire with fire!"

In a subsequent statement, Maharaj said, "Her statement exploits the fears of most citizens and reflects the growing concern among citizens about their safety and the perceived inadequacy of law enforcement in dealing with crime.

Persad-Bissessar, he continued, "recklessly and irresponsibly advocates for citizens' right to self-defence and calls for greater access to legal firearms, emphasising the need to protect law-abiding citizens from criminal threats."

Maharaj argued that her statements can do more harm than good.

"It is essential to address the rising crime and murder rates in Trinidad and Tobago while upholding the principles of the rule of law."

In relation to the recognition of citizens' concerns about their safety and the police's ability to combat crime, Maharaj said, "It is important to promote responsible self-defence measures and advocate for comprehensive strategies to address the root causes of criminal behaviour."

He added that only by working together could TT "forge a path towards a safer and more secure society for all its citizens."


"Devant: UNC leader exploiting peoples’ fears over crime"

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