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Sunday, April 23, 2006
Stabroek News
- residents, others ask

The dignified manner in which Minister Satyadeow Sawh conducted himself in life was in stark contrast to the savage manner of his death.

Tears, shock, anger and outrage were among the initial reactions to his murder and that of his sister, brother and security guard AROUND 12:15 yesterday morning.

Mere minutes after a heavily-armed gang had left the minister's LBI home after unleashing their firepower on the occupants, the news swept through neighbouring villages, and eventually people began to congregate outside his home.

By around 3 am a sizable crowd of visibly affected neighbours and residents had assembled behind the police barrier, some of whom were personally acquainted with the Sawh family.

Initially, no one had confirmation about how many people had been killed and wounded, and whether the minister was numbered among the dead.

There was much speculation as to a possible motive, although almost everyone voiced the unanswerable question as to why Minister Sawh had been targeted, because he was such a nice man.

Minister of Health Leslie Ramsammy came to the home and then departed for the Georgetown Public Hospital where the three injured persons had been rushed. Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Madan Rambarran and Chief Executive Officer Michael Khan were also present. Like many others, Dr Ramsammy appeared perplexed and shocked about what had happened, every few minutes running his hand through his hair as he paced the hospital's compound or huddled with Dr Rambarran and others.

At the scene of the crime similar tense expressions could be seen on the many faces. Around 3.30 am the Prime Minister's wife Yvonne Hinds, tears streaming down her face, left the scene in the company of Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President Jennifer Webster, and others. Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Manzoor Nadir and his wife also took their departure shortly after. Minister of Home Affairs, Gail Teixeira was also present.

As the vehicles moved out and others drove up there were sometimes loud gasps from the newcomers who could not contain their feelings of shock.

But while there was shock and grief there was also great tension among the gathering. This almost boiled over shortly after Commissioner of Police Winston Felix had given a brief comment to the media during which he said there had been initial reports that money was demanded.

This revelation did not go down well with some of the persons present, one of whom had to be physically restrained from accosting the commissioner. Felix had his back to the individual and was not aware of what had transpired.