GCB Executive Doused With Acid
Outspoken Assistant Treasurer of the Guyana Cricket Board, Pretipaul Jaigobin had his face disfigured when a man calmly walked up to him and threw a container of acid.
Jaigobin, who is in his forties, had stopped at a shop in Strasthpey on the East Coast of Demerara, shortly after 9pm, while on his way to his Clonbrook home, about eight miles away, when the incident occurred. His condition is listed as critical, and doctors as well as family members and close associates are hoping that the attack would not severely affect his eyesight.
Presently, Jaigobin’s vision is severely impaired and he is thankful for the spectacles he was wearing at the time that he is not completely blind. Speaking with this newspaper last night, Jaigobin, who is also the Treasurer of the East Coast Demerara and Demerara Cricket Boards, said that the man came up to him just as he left the shop, and threw the substance in his face.
“All the man said was, ‘Why you don’t leave me friends them alone? You want power?’ and he threw the thing in my face,” Jaigobin said. The man then calmly walked away while Jaigobin grabbed his face in agony. Such was the power of the liquid that it burnt the entire front of his shirt and also resulted in burns to his chest. He was rushed to the Georgetown Hospital where he remains a patient in the Burns Care Unit.
While Jaigobin could not identify his attacker, he is almost convinced that the attack has to do with his work in the Guyana Cricket Board. According to Jaigobin, it stems from his interventions at a recently held statutory meeting of the Board, which was held last Friday.
“They have some men dealing with a lot of nonsense and I just raise the thing and I don’t know if that is what happened. I have a strong feelings it is that because the man said, ‘why you don’t leave me friends them alone’. I know where it’s coming from. I’m positive,” Jaigobin told this newspaper.
“I don’t expect in a sports organization that because you have differences this would happen. A man like Terry Holder get up and walk out the meeting the last time,” said Jaigobin who is also the Project Accountant for the European Union Project in Guyana. Kaieteur News understands that Jaigobin has given the police some names and they all are related to the Guyana Cricket Board.
This newspaper also understands that Jaigobin might have uncovered a scheme by another Senior Cricket Board official, who it is alleged was using his position to support the application for US visas of persons by purporting that they were cricketers when they are not. President of the Demerara Cricket Board Bissoon Dyal Singh, who is also Vice Chairman of the Guyana Cricket Board, was at the hospital last evening. He told Kaieteur News that Jaigobin was a very honest person who always wanted to make sure that the money is well spent.
“There are issues that he had a long time now that he kept pointing out all the time. Some of these issues keep creating problems as they arise and there is faction that has developed in the Guyana Cricket Board and I don’t know what caused this,” Singh said.
Chairman of the Senior Cricket Selectors of the Guyana Cricket Board Claude Raphael confirmed that there was some confrontation at the body’s last meeting as a result of some financial issues raised by Jaigobin.
“He was very vocal in articulating issues that he had very strong views on with respect to financial matters, to the extent that meeting was terminated before the scheduled time,” Raphael said. According to Raphael, since then, there were efforts to try and resolve the differences, so it came as a shock when he learnt about what had happened to Jaigobin.
“I could only presume that it had something to do with our differences on the Cricket Board and I’m saying it is pretty unfortunate that it is a level that I certainly never expected to see our Cricket Board descend into. It is outrageous and I strongly condemn the violence that has been exhibited on this man,” Raphael said.
“After 25 years on the Guyana Cricket Board, I’m appalled at this behaviour,” he added.
Apart from Raphael and Singh, other prominent members, both past and present of the Guyana Cricket Board, including Malcolm Peters, Former Vice President and current Assistant Secretary Ronald Williams rushed down to the Georgetown Hospital after they were informed about the incident. Last night’s attack is almost similar to the attack on Kaieteur News columnist Freddy Kissoon, who had a container of feces thrown in his face by a man just after he had entered his vehicle.