Carapo LifeSport coordinator Rajaee Ali said yesterday he felt “unfairly targeted” by the police not just because of recent events, but because of their overall approach to him and other members of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen mosque in Carapo.
Speaking at a news conference at the office of his attorneys in Port of Spain, Ali said:
“We are constantly harassed. Getting locked up, that’s what y’all in the media are hearing about. But what y’all not hearing is the every stuff. Like how everywhere we go police taking pictures of us. Anywhere we pass, they pass after, so they are following us. If we rent a vehicle they go to rental company and interrogate the people. If we purchase a car they go to the dealerships and accuse them of doing drugs with us. If you get close to someone, they are going around them and searching them and their family, and telling them that we at the mosque are bad people and doing drugs.
“None of these things are true. Sometimes it is frustrating a lot of people are coming to you because think they you have millions cause the Minister of National Security made it appear to the whole country seem like we stole millions. This has people watching you like you’re a criminal. People you know from small, now afraid to associate themselves with you, based on the picture they painted of us over the past months. To us, it looked as though they had a political quarrel and we at the mosque seem to be the scapegoats. So it is very difficult.”
The Life Sport coordinator did note that, while the police officers who arrested him were not aggressive in their approach, it was still a painful detainment.
“They (the police) take mothers in front of their children. Leaving these kids, children crying, bawling, screaming, as they were seeing their moms encased in handcuffs. And they also take a lot of innocent people as well. People who just came to the mosque to perform their prayers and break their fast. So it was painful,” Ali said.
Rajaee Ali said yesterday he would be prepared to assist any investigations into the LifeSport programme, though he said he didn’t know exactly how he would be of assistance.
“I was just on the ground, just a coordinator for Carapo. Whatever corruption took place was on the top. I couldn’t reach that level and I wish them luck in their investigations. I would be willing to assist in any investigation, but I wouldn’t know how, I was just the ground man,” Ali said.