Farmer chopped to death
By STACY MOORE Wednesday, February 20 2013
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SLAIN: Soorace Sooklal...
A DISPUTE between three men, over a piece of land, ended yesterday morning in murder when two of the men savagely beat and chopped to death the third man — a farmer — near his Claxton Bay, Couva home.
The two men, who were chopped by the farmer during the fight, were last night warded under police guard at San Fernando General Hospital, both in serious condition. Soorace Sooklal, 52, of Bano Trace, St Margaret’s Claxton Bay died on the spot after being chopped about his legs, arms and abdomen.
Minutes before the argument and fight, Sooklal was tending to his farm animals near his Claxton Bay home. Police said the farmer was chopped several times. His attackers, aged 52 and 58, of Chaguanas and Carapichaima were chopped during the fight.
According to a police report, at about 10.20 am, Sooklal was tending to his livestock when he was confronted by two men who were armed with cutlasses. When the argument led to the two men raising their cutlasses at Sooklal, he ran off.
The two men chased after Sooklal and cornered him at John Trace in Claxton Bay and began beating and chopping him. Sooklal died at the scene. Exactly how his two attackers came to sustain chop wounds, is not clear. After Sooklal collapsed, his attackers reportedly sought help from someone and were later taken to the San Fernando General Hospital for treatment.
When Newsday visited the scene, the area where Sooklal’s body lay was cordoned off. Nearby, his relatives wept as they stared in disbelief at his bloodstained body.
Residents later told police, they had heard a loud commotion and when they checked, found Sooklal dead on the road. Sooklal, Newsday was told, was the youngest of ten children and had no children.
His sister Chandra Ramesar, 61, said her brother lived alone at his Bano Trace home in St Margaret’s. Ramesar who lives in California said she was at home when she received a telephone call that her brother had been chopped to death.
“I still cannot believe he was killed in this manner. I spoke to him on Saturday,” Ramesar cried.
She said her brother was a farmer. “I don’t know why they killed him,” she said. Sooklal’s nephew who gave his name only as ‘Richard’, said he heard that his uncle was killed over a land dispute.
“He tried to run from the men, but they followed him. From what I heard, they chopped him non- stop until he was dead. It was so gruesome,” Richard said. The farmer’s body was later removed to the Forensic Science Centre, St James for an autopsy.
ASP Zamsheed Mohammed and other police officers visited the scene and investigations are continuing.