Violence breaks out in Guyana as PPP/C supporters attack school buses, injure cop

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(Guyana Chronicle) – THREE school children were rushed to the Fort Wellington Public Hospital after the bus they were in came under attack by violent People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) supporters in Bush Lot on the West Coast of Berbice (WCB), Region Five. Another school bus was also attacked in the vicinity of Bat Settlement, WCB.

One of the two David ‘G’ School buses which came under attack on the West Coast of Berbice. In this photo, Regional Transport Officer of Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice), Nigel Wilson, points to the rear windscreen of the David ‘G’ School Bus which was damaged by PPP supporters in Bush Lot West Coast Berbice while taking home school children

The Fort Wellington Secondary School students, ages 13, 14 and 15, were heading home from school at around 12:30hrs in one of the David ‘G’ Buses when the PPP/C supporters started hurling stones and other large objects at the bus, shattering the back windscreen in the process.

At the time, the supporters were protesting the move by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to declare Region Four votes although the verification process had not been completed. The protest, however, was far from peaceful. The PPP/C supporters had set on fire a number of tyres and other debris on the main access road – thereby blocking any ingress or egress, despite pleas from ranks of the Guyana Police Force for them to disperse and go home.

When the Guyana Chronicle visited the Fort Wellington Public Hospital, two of the students had already been treated for minor lacerations about their bodies and another undergoing medical attention. According to doctors at the health institution, one of the three children suffered head injuries.

Under adult supervision, one of the victims told the Guyana Chronicle that they were making their way home when the bus was stoned down. Clearly traumatised, the teen, who resides at Belladrum with her grandmother, could not hold back the tears as she detailed the incident.

“While we were heading towards Bush Lot, an Indian guy, he pelted the bus back and the glass scrapped my hands,” the student recalled. At the time, the 15-year-old student was sitting at the back of the bus with her colleagues. “The lady in the bus said everyone bend down, and put your bag over your head,” she further recalled.

The students of the Latchman Singh Primary School and Bush Lot Secondary School were sent home after the protest turned violent on the Bush Lot Public Road, WCB (Adrian Narine photo)

A similar incident took place at Bath, in which a David ‘G’ Bus transporting children came under siege.

People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) Region Five Chair, Vinceroy Jordan, said it was not only unfortunate, but unacceptable that protestors would attack children proceeding home from school. “The children were in the provided David ‘G’ School Bus, which is David ‘G’ No. 1, and the residents of Bush Lot Village they started pelting objects towards the bus, and they have since shattered the windscreen of the bus, and injured three children,” he reported.
Jordan reported too, that in Bath Settlement, the bus was swarmed by the protesting PPP/C supporters. “The bus was held hostage for a period of time but to say exactly what happened after, I would not be able to say, but in Bush Lot, I know for a fact that the Police Commander vehicle was damaged and the school bus, the windscreen was shattered,” he told this newspaper.

The arm of the injured 15-year-old Fort Wellington Secondary School student (Adrian Narine photos)

Regional Transport Officer of Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice), Nigel Wilson, told the Guyana Chronicle that the bus, which came under attack in Bath Settlement, was transporting children from school en route to Rosignol and Blairmont.
Up to press time, no arrest has been made in connection with these two incidents. The Latchman Singh Primary School and Bush Lot Secondary School were in session on Friday morning but a decision was subsequently taken to dismiss school at mid-day in light of the violent protest.

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