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Family calls for justice

Thursday, August 1, 2013
Newly-elected Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner greets accident victim and constituent Premnath Rampaul at the Gulf View Medical Centre, San Fernando, yesterday. Rampaul’s right foot was broken when the driver of one of the vehicles in the Attorney General’s security detail struck him while he was on his way to cast his vote in Monday’s by-election. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

Meera Rampaul is calling for the arrest of the driver of one of the vehicles in the Attorney General’s security detail who ran over her father’s leg in Felicity on Monday. Meera made the call for justice the day after her father, Premnath Rampaul, underwent five hours of surgery on his injured leg at the Gulf View Medical Centre, San Fernando. The operation was to repair both bones in his lower leg, the tibia and fibula, which run from the knee to the ankle. A steel plate and ten pins were inserted into Rampaul’s badly-damaged bones in an attempt to save the leg. Rampaul, 57, is also suffering from internal bleeding on the right side of the head and a bruised, swollen and discoloured left leg, which has numerous blood clots.



Now, his daughter is also expressing concern about his recovery because he suffers from diabetes. Considering the intensity of the injuries, she said yesterday she does not know if he would be able to walk again or if the wound would heal completely. “I can’t say for now if the surgery is a success, because he is diabetic. I don’t know how well he would heal,” Meera told the T&T Guardian. She said she was extremely concerned for the future of her father, who was a strong, healthy and fit man before the accident, which occurred as he was heading to cast his ballot in the Chaguanas West by-election. “Who would take care of him now?” she asked. Meera said she had a telephone conversation with AG Anand Ramlogan, who told her he would do everything to ensure all is right with her dad, and that was why he had given instructions for her father to be transferred to the Gulf View Medical Centre for treatment.



However, she said in addition to the medical bills, she wants justice for her dad. She said to date no one had been held in connection with the hit-and-run accident, even though the police know the identity of the driver and the number of the SUV which ran over her father’s leg. Rampaul was on his way to vote and to work as a polling agent at the Felicity Presbyterian School on Monday when the incident occurred. A formal report about the incident was made by a soldier at the Chaguanas Police Station. Meera also denied that her father had been drinking before he was knocked down. Rampaul and his friend, Garth David, were walking to the polling station on Monday morning when they were both struck by one of the SUVs from the AG’s security detail. From his hospital bed yesterday, where he was visited by his newly re-elected MP Warner, Rampaul said he was off the road, on a bridge near the school, when he heard a vehicle driving at high speed. He said he and his friend tried to avoid being hit by the SUV but were unsuccessful and they were both injured. 


David has said he intends to take legal action and yesterday Rampaul said he would do the same. Warner promised: “Premnath, if you don’t, your MP would do that for you.” He told members of the media his visit was to show solidarity with Rampaul, who openly said he was on his way to vote for Warner’s Independent Liberal Party on Monday when he was hit. He also condemned statements by Ramlogan which suggested that Rampaul was intoxicated at the time of the incident. Warner said: “The AG was not there. I was there. For the AG, who is supposed to represent law and order in the country, for him to say that, I have to come to tell him that what the AG said is not true and to assure him that we shall look into this matter and take all the steps that have to be taken after he leaves here. “The AG has misled the nation and if he could do that for a single seat, what would he do for 41?” Ramlogan suggested on Monday that ILP activist Inshan Ishmael was culpable in the accident and had been driving recklessly while pursuing the AG’s security vehicles. Ishmael, however, has denied this.


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