Thursday, February 22, 2018

...Samad attempts citizen's arrest

A short, heated tussle erupted at the usually quiet hunger strike camp site outside the Prime Minister's office in St Clair yesterday as human rights activist Ishmael Samad attempted to levy a "citizen's arrest" on Dr Wayne Kublalsingh.

Samad, wearing a black T-shirt, with the words "Call me Sledge", approached Kublalsingh as he spoke with his doctor, Ashantie Charles Le Blanc, and introduced himself, then announced that he was there to carry out a citizen's arrest as Kublalsingh was "committing suicide".

Samad grabbed Kublalsingh by the forearm and tried to pull him up off his supine position across three chairs. Within seconds, both Kublalsingh's sister, Judy Kublalsingh and several supporters mobbed Samad and dragged him away from Kublalsingh. Police officers parked nearby ran over and quickly rescued Samad from the irate supporters.

"But I am here to make a citizen's arrest. He is committing suicide," he said as the police led him away to the back of police vehicle.

Samad had initially walked past the group and went to the nearby police vehicle to have a word with them before approaching Kublalsingh's group. The police though seemed surprised by the fall out and moved quickly to defuse the heightened tensions created by his action.

In the midst of the scuffle, one lady was knocked over and fell into the road while others were shoved aside and people attempted to get Samad away from Kublalsingh. The quiet atmosphere at the site changed after Samad was removed by police. Where people were once quietly chatting with each other, they then seemed overcharged with anger describing what they should have done to Samad, instead of letting the police rescue him from them.

"Where people like them does come from?" one man asked.

The angry supporters followed the group calling out that Samad be charged and detained for assault.

Both Kublalsingh and the family though made it clear that they would not be pressing charges.

"I know he is a person who is keenly interested in the preservation of life," Kublalsingh said when questioned about the altercation.

"I think he was the person who, when nine of our citizens were hanged he was passionately concerned about them and I think he is passionately concerned about me and I have no problems with what he did," Kublalsingh said. See Page 9.