Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Daughter refuses to give up on justice

Two years after death of elderly couple beaten in robbery...

Pensioners Sugrim and Indra Gangabissoon were remembered yesterday, the second anniversary of the couple’s savage beating which led to their deaths. 

And although no one was arrested, the couple’s five chil­­-

dren believe they will get justice.

Indra Gangabissoon died three days after the brutal attack. She suffered a fractured skull, broken jaw and her eyes were swollen shut. 

Her husband never reco­vered from the physical and emotion wounds caused that day. He died a year later at hos­pital. He was 93.

The attack took place at the elderly couple’s home on

the Southern Main Road, Ca­ra­­­­pichaima, on April 12, 2012, the day they celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. They were robbed of their pen­sion money.

The couple’s family erected two billboards, at St Mary’s Junction, Freeport, and in Charlieville, offering a reward to anyone with information which would lead to an arrest and conviction of person(s) responsible for the crime. The reward was increased from $50,000 to $100,000.

“Most of you may know my mom’s murder has never been solved. The Crime Stoppers billboards in Charlieville and St Mary’s Junction, Freeport, have been taken down. Unfor­tunately, they did not bring in any tips of value. This has been very disappointing, but I am hardly one to lose hope. In fact, I refuse to give up on finding justice for mom. I will not let her murder fade away into obli­vion,” daughter Draupadi Gangabissoon, who lives in Canada, wrote in an e-mail.

She even created a You­Tube video to keep her moth­­-

er’s memory alive and urges viewers to contact the police with any information to solve the murder. The video contains photographs of her badly beat­en parents and notes about them, accompanied by the Gaya­tri mantra (Hindu prayer). 

“This is my way of keeping mom’s memory and unsolved murder alive. It is my hope and prayer someday, this case will be solved. I have faith it will, with so many of you sup­­porting this cause,” she wrote.

Gangabissoon said she was grateful to her husband, Gerry Schaffer, for putting up the reward, and to the Homicide Division and Crime Stoppers for pursuing the case.

She said, “I am now ask­ing for your help in taking this unsolved murder a step

further. Please forward this link to everyone you know, especially in Trinidad. Some­one out there knows who is responsible for this brutal and unforgivable beating of both my parents and mom’s death. Your help would be very much appreciated.”

Indra Gangabissoon, 78, was a mother of six who was well respected in the com­mu­-

nity. Her husband was an aca­demic scholar who au­thored six books and wrote numerous essays on Hinduism and taught Sanskrit. 

Sugrim Gangabissoon was beaten on the head, causing him to lose his memory, and he was unable to recall the attack. 

Police never detained a sus­pect in the case.