Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ramesh: Form vigilante groups

Source: Trinidad Express
Citizens must defend themselves against bandits, says ex-AG

Thursday, January 10th 2008

FORMER attorney general and Member of Parliament for Tabaquite, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, says if Government does not act to protect citizens, he would encourage them to form their own citizens police stations, vigilante or watch groups.

And he says he would help provide armed security guards to assist citizens "to track down the criminals in the area, catch them and then deliver them to the police".

Maharaj, who was addressing a meeting of crime-affected villagers at the Macaulay Community Centre, Claxton Bay, on Tuesday, also told them if Government failed to provide police protection against criminals, people would be acting legally if they take up weapons to injure or even kill their attackers in self defence.

The residents of Macaulay and surrounding areas, which include the constituencies of Pointe-a-Pierre and Tabaquite, complained of an upsurge of crime and lack of police action. They said within recent months, there had been an increase in hold-ups, robberies, car theft, house breaking, rapes and murders.

Maharaj said the history of the law is that a man's house is his castle and "when somebody leaves the road and go to your home, they must be prepared to face the consequences. You are entitled to use whatever force necessary to protect everyone in your home and your life".

The villagers are also calling for a police post in the area.

Urging citizens not to sit back and allow bandits to terrorise their lives, Maharaj said: "The law is that you do not have to wait for someone to kill you before you act in self defence. So if I am walking out of the door and a man comes to me with a gun I do not have to wait for him to fire, I can take out my revolver and shoot him and kill him, and that would be self-defense.

"If a man comes to attack my family in my house, I do not have to wait for police to come, I am entitled to use reasonable force to protect my house and family, even if it means shooting at his feet."

He stressed that as MP, it was his duty to encourage his constituents to defend themselves, especially because the Constitution gives every citizen the human and fundamental rights to life and enjoyment of property.

Maharaj said he planned to send a letter to and speak with Minister of National Security Martin Joseph to inform him of the urgency of the situation and the immediate need for a temporary mobile unit in the area and for 24-hour police presence.

I agree with the Ex-AG 100% on this one. If the police are unable to protect us then it's time we started protecting ourselves. We also need to be aware of the laws governing self-defense. It is the right of every citizen to to life and enjoyment of property. We have to stand up and fight for what is our right. Stop taking bull-shit from the criminals. There also needs to be some revision in the laws concerning firearms. Citizens should be given the right to bear arms in order to protect themselves.

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