Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh and his wife Dr Sherene Kalloo. Photo: Azlan Mohammed
By Sue-Ann Wayow
IT’S about time that citizens of Trinidad and Tobago be given the power to defend themselves against criminal elements.
This was the call from Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh after his wife was robbed at a supposedly secured shopping area on Wednesday afternoon.
Dr Deyalsingh said, “If we had a low level of criminal activity, we would not need to defend ourselves. With the increase in home invasions, we now have to meet these bandits on their own terms.”
He said in the past obtaining a firearm was a difficult process that was now becoming easier and with proper training and assessments, citizens should be given the opportunity to protect themselves and properties since sometimes, the police were not always reliable.
Dr Deyalsingh said citizens will also be at more peace knowing that they had a sense of control over their personal protection.
His wife Dr Sherene Kalloo told AZPNews.com, she was thankful that although someone smashed a window in her husband’s car and her Linx machine taken, she was grateful she was not physically hurt. However, she said she was “emotionally traumatised.”
Dr Kalloo said she visited the bank at Valpark Shopping Plaza around 2.30 pm, received a Linx machine in a brown envelope, placed it in the vehicle’s trunk and went to the nearby supermarket for about five minutes.
When she returned to the vehicle, a Mercedes Benz, around 2. 50 pm, she realised the right-back glass was broken and the Linx machine missing.
She said she had joked with the bank attendant that people may think she received a lot of money from the bank if they saw the envelope.
However, she told AZPNews.com, she never leaves the bank with a lot of cash.
The police were immediately contacted and Dr Kalloo commended their swift efforts. Fingerprinting was done and officers were already viewing camera footage, she said.
Kalloo advised, “Women please do not go out alone. Always be aware of your surroundings. Always be vigilant. What is surprising is the time this happened and where. That is frightening.”
Kalloo added that she will be staying away from that mall for some time, grateful she made a detour to the grocery before heading home for fear of being followed.
Her husband, Dr Deyalsingh said recently there were several reports of people being robbed at the mall which raises questions about security.
He also said the trend was to mark people going to the banks and rob them upon return to their vehicles.
Dr Deyalsingh also suggested that police conduct sting operations in the area to reduce incidents.
He added that especially at this time with the added social strain from Covid-19, more robberies were expected.
Dr Deyalsingh said he had previously raised the issue of bringing to the Parliament legislation so that citizens can be protectors of their property.
“It is time we take back our lives,” he said.