Senior Magistrate laments crime... I have no sympathy for criminal elements

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 17:00

A se­nior mag­is­trate, who has been the vic­tim of crime, open­ly spoke about how he and his fam­i­ly are afraid to leave their home due to the crime sit­u­a­tion.


“We live in a coun­try where there are prob­a­bly more guns than peo­ple,” lament­ed Se­nior Mag­is­trate Rae Roopc­hand.

He was ex­press­ing his dis­may over the crime sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try while pre­sid­ing over mat­ters in the Rio Claro Mag­is­trates’ Court on Tues­day.

His com­ments came one day af­ter the T&T Cham­ber of In­dus­try and Com­merce called on the au­thor­i­ties to stop politi­cis­ing crime and take ex­treme ac­tion to pro­tect cit­i­zens from the crim­i­nal el­e­ments.

Roopc­hand said, “I have no sym­pa­thy any more for crim­i­nal el­e­ments. My heart has no more mer­cy to ex­tend. But, I am a ju­di­cial of­fi­cer and I must tem­per jus­tice with mer­cy.”

Say­ing that he and his fam­i­ly have been the tar­get of crim­i­nals, Roopc­hand said he could have been mur­dered and his wife and daugh­ter raped “had we gone home at a par­tic­u­lar time.”

He said his fam­i­ly doesn’t go out be­cause of crime. “I sneak out to go in the gro­cery.”

Not­ing that there has been a resur­gence of kid­nap­pings, the mag­is­trate said, “the most hurt­ful death” was Dr Rudrade­va Shar­ma who was kid­napped along with Dr. Prem Naidoo, “Not be­cause he was a doc­tor, a young life snuffed out at the hands of crim­i­nal el­e­ments…Where is the coun­try go­ing?”

Like the Shar­ma fam­i­ly, the mag­is­trate said he “nev­er thought it (crime) would hit home.”

He said af­ter din­ner he and his fam­i­ly would pray for about two hours be­fore go­ing to bed. “When I pick up a (news) pa­pers I glance, I don’t read about crime.”

He said the on­ly ar­ti­cles he would read are about the law, the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al and par­lia­ment.

Roopc­hand al­so prays for the miss­ing peo­ple in the coun­try, know­ing that their fam­i­lies want fi­nal­i­ty.

Peo­ple, he said, need­ed to re­turn to re­li­gious val­ues. He not­ed that for East­er peo­ple would go to fetes with women wear­ing “pom, pom” shorts while the church­es are emp­ty. “Where have the val­ues gone?”

The Se­nior Mag­is­trate is al­so call­ing on par­ents to search their chil­dren’s book bags.

Reporter: Sascha Wilson