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Gunshots fired as rice/cattle feud continues along Corentyne

By: Andrew Carmichael 

Despite several interventions by those in authority, the issue between rice and cattle farmers along the Corentyne Coast in East Berbice continues unabated.

In one of the latest incidents, a rice farmer has allegedly been chopped about his body as gunshots were fired during a quarrel between rice and cattle farmers.

A rice farmer has claimed that ranked Police officers have cattle in the herds and the Police are not adequately addressing the issue. He also stated that during an incident at Cookrite Savannah in Black Bush Polder (BBP) on August 28 last, a cattle farmer had held his father at gunpoint.

Wahid Ali says he has been cultivating rice with his father for the past eight years, and the destruction to their crops by cattle has been constant. He said he made repeated reports to the Police, but all have fallen on deaf ears. Last Monday, the 21-year-old farmer said, scores of cattle were in their rice field. He recalled that he and his father had left their Johanna, BBP home and travelled to Cookrite Savannah to check on their crops, but when they arrived, they were greeted by the animals feasting on the rice crop.

“About two hundred and something head of cow me average, and they grazing in the rice field. Soon after, we see a father and son entering the field…they does normally rear cattle next to we rice field…He son scramble me by my shirt and take away the cutlass,” he detailed.

His father Roshan Ali said a gun was pointed at him, and two shots were fired while he was made to go down on his knees.

“The father pull out a small gun and point it on my father head, and he tell he son to take away all two cutlasses. After he take away the cutlass, he knock me on my knee first and then to my leg, and then he start hitting me pon me hand. Then he daddy tell he to chap me, and me nah expect that he gon fire a chap. Straight to me neck, so me tek me han and bar, so come I get chap pon me han”, he detailed.

However, giving an account of the incident, his father Roshan Ali noted that after the gun was pointed at his head, he was told that both he and his son would be killed. The senior Ali said their lives were spared, but as they were making their way out of the area, they were attacked again.

“Dem run abe, and me had to run and jump in a yard. The Police dem nah do nothing about that unto now. Some of the Police get cow in the savannah with he cows. That’s why they not taking no step,” he claimed.

The younger Ali said they were threatened and told not to return to the rice field.
The matter has since been reported to the Police, and according to the senior Ali, his daughter, who is pregnant, was assaulted at the Police station by a relative of the man who had chopped his son.

“And just in the Mibicuri Station that happened, and the Police is not doing nothing now,” he added.

This publication understands that the statement that the Police at the Mibicuri Police Station wrote differs from that of the story provided by the rice farmer. According to that statement, the rice farmers claimed that they only heard the explosion of a gunshot. The man suspected to have pulled the trigger was arrested and a test was conducted on his hands for gunshot residue. Investigations are continuing.