Petition for disbanding Corriverton IMC…Several persons deny signing, one ‘signatory’ dead 24 years ago
- APNU promises probe
By Leon Suseran
Several persons in Corriverton are claiming that the signatures purportedly theirs on a petition submitted by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), for the disbanding of the Corriverton Interim Management Committee (IMC), have been forged.
Additionally, it was observed that names appeared more than once on the document and at least two pages in the petition appeared to have signatures made by a single signatory, raising allegations of a ‘padded petition.’
The Town Clerk, Narendra Sookram, on Friday, July 6, was handed a multi-page petition by APNU signed by over 600 persons of Corriverton calling for the dissolution of the IMC, deeming the body illegal and unconstitutional. This happened after the party considered the ousting of former Mayor of Corriverton, Roy Baijnauth, illegal and unconstitutional.
The IMC is still in operation, however, several persons have come forward and are angry to see their ‘signatures’ on a petition which they said they never signed or was never even privy to.
NOT OUR SIGNATURES
One businessman of Number 79 Village, M.A. Mohamed, said that his dead father’s name was on the petition, ‘Peer Mohamed’. His father has been dead since 1988 and he confirmed this. “Peer Mohamed is my father, but my business is run under his name to keep his memory, so like whoever it is, dig up my father and raise him from the dead… it seems so.”
“I don’t know who did that. It’s very funny. Since I am here, I never encounter anybody doing something like that, using my name and I am very saddened by this.”
The man then asked what the purpose of the petition was, seemingly unaware of its purpose. When told, he asked, “Why should APNU do something like this? The IMC is doing a good job. Why they used my name and how they knew my name? Perhaps they just see my store with the name in front and used it,” he opined.
A little further down in the area was Tejnarine Persaud, who expressed shock that his sobriquet or ‘call- name’ ‘Rado Karran’ was signed on the petition. He, too, was upset at the purported signature.
“Me want action these men for signing my name. How can they do me that?” questioned Paul Moses of Line Path, Corriverton. “This is not me!” (pointing to his name in the petition) he exclaimed. “It is forgery! I object to this. Who did this?” He then signed on another piece of paper and confirmed that the signature did not match the one on the petition.
“Me ain’t even know who is in there (the IMC) or who they replaced…Me never sign that thing!”
Popular businessman, H.N. Sugrim called ‘Chinee’ of Crabwood Creek, was furious at his alleged signature appearing on the petition.
“I never signed [the petition]…that is forgery. And I am not even living in Corriverton! I am living in Crabwood Creek, and we have our own NDC. The whole thing is I did not sign anything, they forged my signature.”
Chairperson of the IMC, Mr. Bhawase Harripaul, received a copy of the petition when he returned to the country recently. Nevertheless, he is continuing with his work and that of his council.
“I don’t have any problem with the petition, in the sense that anybody can petition for anything, but what I observed was that one person signed more than one time in the petition, and I was also told by persons that they did not sign the petition, so it was a falsification of their signatures.”
Harripaul went on to disclose that “the people are very upset because they appreciate the work of the IMC so they would not do such a thing”.
The chairperson noted, in responding to APNU’s claims that the IMC is illegal, that as far as he knows “the IMC is not illegal; it was a process that was implemented by the Minister who has the power to disband it if things are not going well, and as a matter of fact, we were issued with Letters of Appointment— the Town Clerk can bail me out”.
Responding to claims by APNU that the IMC members were “selected and hand- picked” by the Ministry of Local Government, Harripaul noted that, “I was told by persons in our community that they sent a list of names of people to be on the IMC, so I don’t know the story about hand- picked”.
When asked what happens hereafter, Harripaul said the council cannot take any action. “Anybody can picket; anybody can protest; anybody can petition,” he stressed
He asserted that the petition “has no worth and merit, because the persons who are presently on the IMC come from diverse backgrounds— businessmen, educationists, church leaders, retired people, law enforcement people”.
When contacted, APNU’s point man in Corriverton, Dr Rishee Thakur, said that six persons were involved in the signature-collection campaign. Commenting on the alleged discrepancies in the petition in terms of the signatures, he said, “We have a responsibility to the community to ensure what is there is correct. If there are expressions of doubt, we would like to know what they are, because we would hold ourselves responsible.” He added that “we want to ensure that all the information (in the petition) is in fact correct, [and] if there is any problem, we will have to provide an explanation and… apologise.”