Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2022, 16:54 by Denis Chabrol
Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine and Alliance For Change General Secretary Sherod Duncan were Wednesday afternoon arrested and ordered to go to Brickdam Police Station, triggering a large converging of supporters including vendors in City Hall’s compound.
Present with him were Attorneys-at-Law Roysdale Forde and Darren Wade. Mr Forde confirmed that the arrest of the duo had to do with the Mayor’s alleged remarks while supporting vendors on New Market Street. Mr Forde said his clients were expected to be released on bail.
A number of the vendors begged the Mayor not to leave his office. Instead, he complied with the Police instructions and said he would prefer to walk to the station.
Mr Duncan is a former Deputy Mayor.
Police wanted to transport him by vehicle but the vendors objected and he also opted to walk from City Hall to Brickdam Police Station.
The City Mayor’s arrest came one day after Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn said the police had been asked to investigate remarks he made while in solidarity with food vendors outside Georgetown Hospital against the removal of their stalls and caravans.
Mr Narine had asked whether President Irfaan Ali was refusing to collaborate with him because he is a Hindu. Further, the Mayor had queried whether the President was presiding over the creation of an Islamic State.
The Mayor has since apologised unreservedly for his remarks. Deputy Mayor Alfred Mentore has distanced himself from the Mayor’s comments but maintains his support for consultation between Central Government and the Municipality.
The Private Sector Commission, several Muslim, Christian and Hindu organisations have condemned the Mayor’s remarks.
Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton has dismissed calls for the Mayor to be removed or resign and has called the Private Sector Commission a “stooge” of the governing People’s Progressive Party.