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ANITA I’M SORRY

News day / RYAN HAMILTON-DAVIS

A MAN claiming to be a relative of the man who stabbed 27-year-old mother of four Anita Bahadur to death on Wednesday, took to social media to apologise to Anita, her family, and the nation as a whole.

“I believe that nothing should warrant this kind of action against anybody no matter how tough the situation is,” said the man in a video yesterday.

“You are not supposed to take another person’s life no matter what. You are not supposed to be violent to another person no matter what. At the end of the day, nothing could justify his action. I understand how gruesome this act was, and I hope that my brother is penalised to the full extent of the law.

“I heard there were children around and people who witnessed the whole situation and it is so unfortunate that there are people who are going to live with this for a long time. With so many domestic situations that are happening in this country, we are so embarrassed by the situation right now. But at the end of the day that is still my little brother and we have to stand by him.”

Saying he did not intend to make any excuses on his brother’s behalf, the man said he feels responsible since he became the head of the family after their mother died about 10 years ago. He said he felt as though he did not do enough to keep his brother from going down the wrong path.

However, he said the relationship between Anita and the suspect was volatile and toxic, and he pleaded with the public no not to “give their mouths liberty” if they did not fully know what was going on.

“When he came out of jail, I took him and spoke to him. I took him to work with me and I asked him to leave the situation alone.”

However, his pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears as less than a week after he got out of Remand Yard, he stabbed Anita to death in the Croisee in San Juan in the busy mid-afternoon hours.

The suspect was sitting on a railing while Anita was heading to her Aranguez home after work. The man allegedly approached her in the crowded area and stabbed her in her chest and head. She was later declared dead at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex. The suspect was held and beaten by men who witnessed the attack and he was then handed over to San Juan police.

“I honestly don’t know what else to say. This family is a good family, a strong family. We were cut from good cloth, so to speak,” the brother said.

At the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday, Anita’s relatives told reporters they were dissatisfied with the performance of the police, who they accused of not doing enough to detain the suspect before he killed her. Newsday was told that Anita and the suspect spent four years in a relationship which went sour after the first year. They had a three-year-old son together.

“They never had enough money for rent, she would have to pay that for herself. Every time she went to work she had to bring something for him. She was always on the move trying to get away from him, and she kept making reports on him, but police kept saying they could not find him. In 2014 I asked if there was a halfway house that she could have hidden for a couple months, but they told me the victim would have to be willing to go there.”

It wasn’t until about three months ago that police arrested the man after he allegedly made a threat on Anita’s life in the presence of a Child Protection Unit officer, who in turn called the Tunapuna police to arrest him.

Relatives claimed further threats followed.

Anita’s relatives said serious punishment should be meted out to police officers who were found to have ignored a report of domestic violence.

“If they get suspended, they still get to go home with half their salary,” said one of Anita’s relatives. “They will get to go back to work after the suspension. But where is Anita? Anita is gone.”

Supt of the North Eastern Division Surrendra Sagramsingh confirmed that after the man confronted Anita, police arrested him and, at that time, he was no longer a threat because he was in remand. After the suspect got out of remand and continued his threats, police officers searched for him once more, but he continued to elude police. Sagramsingh said there would be a probe into the handling of the complaints, and if there were any signs of neglect, the appropriate action would be taken.

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