THERE may be nothing worse for parents to endure than when their child is brutally murdered.
Except if the crime remains unsolved.
This is true for Dave Ramsahai and his brother, Vishnu Ramsahai, whose sons—Dale and Jerome—were the victims of a heinous, deadly attack earlier this year.
Jerome and Dale Ramsahai were discovered burnt to death in the trunk of a car in the Heights of Guanapo, Arima on March 1, with the pathologist concluding that they were alive when the fire was set.
Wire found embedded in the charred bodies were determined to be pieces of the cable contained in tyres, suggesting that their bodies were enclosed by tyres when they were placed in the trunk of the car.
The forensic report said the men—a bank loans officer and an information technology co-ordinator—suffered “full body burns”. They were identified through deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples taken from the remains compared with samples taken from their mothers.
Almost ten months since their sons’ deaths, the fathers remain inconsolable.
Both men cried yesterday as they spoke of their sons, and grew angry as they criticised the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service for not having apprehended a suspect in the crime.
They said they cannot heal if there is no justice.
The families, who live two houses away from each other at Seuradge Trace, Debe, spent Christmas Day in church, in the cemetery and in their homes.
There were no Christmas trees, decorations or presents, only tears.
“People feel sorry for us but only when a person passes through what we have been through only then can they understand what we feel”, said Dave Ramsahai, 58.
“I wake up at night and I hear my wife crying. There is nothing I can do. I also cry,” he said. “I go into his bedroom every day and I lie in his bed and think about him. We have left everything the exact way he left it.”
Vishnu Ramsahai said the day he heard his son was murdered was the last day of his job which he held for 30 years.
“I worked as an operator in Point Lisas. I was in my workplace when I got the call about my son and I left. I never went back to work. I didn’t care about pension or anything. I just have to be here for my family,” he said.
Both men said police officers have never contacted them to offer new information on the case, and when they enquire from the detectives for an update they are usually told, “The investigation is ongoing.”
“I wish I could hire a private detective to investigate the case for me, but I do not have the money. The police have never given us answers. I do not know when we will get justice,” said Dave Ramsahai.
Both men dispelled rumours that they were friends of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and had links with high-ranking Government officials who can fast-track investigations into the case.
“The Prime Minister knows us because we live close to her constituency. My daughter, Liana, had offered to be a candidate years ago as Member of Parliament for Oropouche West, but lost to Stacy Roopnarine. Liana is no longer deputy chairman of CNMG (Caribbean New Media Group, a State-owned company) and that is it,” said Dave Ramsahai.
Vishnu Ramsahai said there were more questions than answers in the deaths, and family gatherings which used to be filled with fun and laughter have been replaced by weeping and little consolation.
“The type of deaths they endured will never leave me. Why did they go through that? How did they feel? Who did that? Was it someone or people whom they knew?” he asked. “Our families live close by, and sometimes when we get together our wives cannot hold back; they cry up until now. We sit and we eat and we are in a daze. Nothing can be happy for us again at all. What has been cut in my heart will remain bleeding.”
Both fathers want the State to resume hangings of criminals who have been found guilty of murder, since they believe it will be a deterrent against further bloodshed.
Dave Ramsahai said: “The normal citizen on the street is living in bondage while the criminals walk in freedom. We have it upside down in this country. Even when the criminals go to jail, their time is like staying in a hotel—television, phone calls and food. It is a paradise for them, but a hell for innocent persons like us. Somebody needs to bring a hard-handed approach to crime. Do something drastic to stop all of this lawlessness.”
Both fathers said they have little faith that the police will solve the crime, but their faith in God remains strong.
Said Vishnu Ramsahai: “I know God don’t miss. I will get justice with Him. But while I am on earth I would like to know who did this and why. I leave it up to God to help me get justice.”