A PROTEST over increased electricity rates which started on Wednesday in Linden, Guyana, began spreading to another small town known as Amelias Ward, yesterday, which leads to Linden.
Guyana Police Service on Friday defended the actions of their officers who on Wednesday reportedly shot and killed three men. Another 20 people were injured.
Kaieteur News reported on Thursday that four men had been shot but later reports revised the figure to three. The dead men were identified as, Shemroy Bouyea, 24; Ron Somerset, 19; and Ivan Lewis, 46.
Guyana's President Donald Ramoutar who has since called for a commission of enquiry into the Linden incident said he has not ruled out persons from outside of Guyana being a part of that enquiry.
He said the parties are now drafting the terms of reference and they have until August 3, to do so.
He said there cannot be fruitful discussions under the present circumstances at Linden.
The country's Police Chief, Leroy Brumell lamented the killing of the three protesters but defended his officers' decision to shoot at them.
Brumell said, "The firing was justified (but) it was unfortunate that persons died. I can assure you it was unfortunate that people had to die."
Brumell said only pellets and not bullets killed the three protesters and injured several others.
He said the police made the decision to shoot at unarmed protesters citing that many of them were committing serious offences and had ignored repeated calls for them to disperse.
"Pellets is the thing we used. Before the firing actually took place, across the bridge they were robbing people and burning people's vehicles," he told Demerara Waves, an online Guyanese newspaper.
Brummel also told reporters that the Police Service is there to serve the public and so while protesters have a right to exercise their constitutional right, it should not be at the expense of inconveniencing other people.
The Police Commissioner confirmed there were pockets of protesters who laid huge, heavy debris across a number of roads. Debris such as old tyres is also being burnt on streets, keeping police, soldiers and firefighters busy.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that Guyana's national security minister has ordered the removal of a police superintendent accused of ordering officers to shoot at protesters during a confrontation in which three died and 20 were injured.
Minister Clement Rohee said yesterday his ministry gave no orders to shoot anyone and he is seeking a full report on what exactly happened.
He said Snr Police Supt Clifton Hicken was the commander on the ground at the site of the protest on Wednesday.
The protesters hurled bottles and rocks at police and burned several cars and buildings, including an office of the ruling People's Progressive Party.