Brian Harricharan, 32, of Forres Park, Claxton Bay remains warded in serious condition at San Fernando General Hospital with injuries to his buttocks, chest and face. Brian along with his brother Dwayne, 25, a father of one and friend Sheldon Best, 40, sustained similar injuries but were treated and discharged. Best is a father of four.
The three men, their relatives claimed, were stripped naked, made to lie on the ground outside and repeatedly planassed (beaten with the flat side of a cutlass) by the soldiers during a six hour ordeal.
Brian, a father of two, was beaten on the left leg in which a steel pin was recently surgically implanted. It was alleged that toothpaste was squeezed into his ears. His house was also ransacked.
At about 7.30 pm yesterday, relatives said, after the soldiers left, they called the EHS ambulance which later took the beaten men to hospital. A female relative, who asked not to be identified, told Newsday: “After taking Brian outside and beating him, they brought him back inside and started all over again. I couldn’t take hearing how they beating him. It was too much and I begged them and they carried me down a shed a little distance away.”
The large contingent of heavily armed soldiers who Newsday was told arrived in a truck and a jeep spent six hours in the area before leaving, according to residents, empty handed. The relative described the incident as a nightmare.
At about 1 am yesterday, the relative said, they were awakened by a banging on the door and upon checking realised soldiers were outside.
“One of them slapped Brian in his face asking him for the drugs and guns. They then dragged him outside as they went next door to his brother’s house and took Dwayne and Sheldon outside,” the woman said.
The relatives said the soldiers ordered her to stay inside the house during the interrogation of the men outside.“They found a cutlass inside and that is what the soldiers beat them with,” she said.
Brian’s relatives are also alleging that an envelope containing $4,000 has gone missing.
Best’s common-law wife Cassie Williams, 23, questioned the soldier’s intention. “We are not even in a hot spot and soldiers are breaking down doors and torturing our men.
“How could one human treat another human being like that? All that is really happening is just creating more hate between us.”
Contacted for comment yesterday, Chief of Defense Staff, Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj said that he was not aware of any such report but assured that a full investigation would be launched into this and all other claims made against the TT Defense Force.