‘Happy birthday Roshan...rest in peace’
By STACY MOORE Thursday, October 4 2012
click on pic to zoom in
DEAD: Roshan Ramrattan, when he was a few weeks old....
ROSHAN RAMRATTAN would have celebrated his second birthday on Monday last. Instead, he was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital, two days earlier, where he died. An autopsy revealed the baby was beaten and violently shaken to death.
Yesterday, weeping mourners surrounded his small white casket and through their tears and moans, sang to Roshan: “Happy birthday to you...happy birthday to you...happy birthday dear Roshan...happy birthday to you.” As the song ended, a mourner said, “May you now rest in peace.”
As screams rent the air, Roshan’s father Kenrick cut a birthday cake which was placed inside the coffin. It was decorated in the Cookie Monster character, which was Roshan’s favourite Sesame Street character. The coffin was so small that the cake was placed on top of Roshan’s legs.
A 19-year-old female relative, who was arrested after Roshan died, remains in police custody while police prepare to send a case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for instructions.
During the service, at the house of mourning in School Road, Bonne Aventure, Gasparillo officiating Pastor Amzad Mohammed said the entire village, including himself, must take blame for Roshan’s death.
“What (name called) did to this child, she did on impulse. She will have to live with the burden of her actions for the rest of her life. What has happened here, we must all take responsibility for. I have taken responsibility. In a sense, I have failed,” Mohammed said.
Mohammed said that before Roshan was born, he (the pastor) was asked by Kenrick to ‘dedicate’ (bless and offer a person to God) the child. “I told him that when his baby is born, bring it along with the mother and come. I will dedicate the baby in church.
“But I never did dedicate the child. Perhaps I should have gone to Roshan’s home and dedicate him there rather than at the church. I have learnt something through this ordeal.
The church is just a building...it is more important to reach people wherever they are rather than wait for them to come to the church.
“I pledge that I will go to those homes and meet with those people who I feel are heading down the wrong direction. I am no longer going to just mind my business,” the pastor said, his eyes red with tears.
Roshan’s grandmother Omanee Ramrattan, 47, was inconsolable and collapsed several times. “My belly hurting. I can’t take this no more. They killed my baby. They killed my grandson. I can’t take it no more!” Ramrattan sobbed. Baby Roshan was later buried at the Bonne Aventure public cemetery.