By Hatab Nyang & Mustapha Jallow
A mob comprising over thousand rioters on Monday burned-down a police station and a Chinese owned Fishmeal Company in Sanyang after their colleague, Gibril Ceesay, was stabbed by an assailant.
A father of two month-old baby, the 30-year-old was married to one Kaddy Bojang until his untimely death after an alleged thief stabbed him as he tried to apprehend him.
At 8am, over thousand angry youth gathered in the streets of Sanyang to show their solidary and anger over the brutal killing of their colleague.
A senior policeman told this medium on condition of anonymity that the suspect (Gibril’s killer) was nearly beaten to death by the mob. He added that this prompted the Police to intervene by arresting the suspect and taking him to Sanyang Police station.
“The suspect was beaten seriously. We rescued him and took him to our custody. He (the suspect) sustained injuries and was bleeding. We decided to rush him to Brikama Health Centre for treatment,’’ the officer explained.
He further said within a minute, the mob attacked and burned down the station, adding during the attack, no officer was injured or harmed.
Reporters noticed that the police station was completely burned down, including record files and other materials. Only few files were seen packed at one place.
Senior officers said all the important documents such as case files were burned to ashes. Officers at the said station were immediately evacuated during the attack and paramilitary personnel were deployed to guard the place.
So far, according to a commanding officer, Gibril’s alleged killer – Ganna Sey, is currently under police custody.
At the main junction, the mob mounted their check-point on the left side of the road, stopping and inspecting vehicles, while the right side was mounted by the paramilitary – this led to a second confrontation.
The confrontation led to traffic jam and vehicles were stopped by the mob. The angry youth were seen with stones, some were armed with local and traditional weapons, while others with cutlasses.
The youth assembled and started stoning the paramilitary personnel. The atmosphere was highly tensed as officers were also throwing teargas to the mob in order to disperse them from the streets. The angry mob was seen burning car tyres, carton and plywood on the street, whilst others were on the other side marching towards the security to stone them.
All the shops and foreign bureaus were closed and market vendors either run for their lives or save their properties from looting. The place was suddenly deserted as business activities were stopped in the community because of the tension.
Nissim, the Fishmeal Factory was attacked and burned too. Insults and stones continued to rain and confrontation continued until at 3pm. Thereafter, senior PIU officers and some residents of the community calmed down the angry youth.
Arrests were made by the paramilitary, but this medium could not independently confirm the number of people detained. Also, a lot of youth were injured during the confrontation
How it started?
Reports have it that it all started on 14th March when a thief attempted to steal and then stabbed Gibril, who was rushed to a health facility where he was pronounced death.
According to the mother of the deceased, Mba Amie Jarra, the thief came late at night to steal from Gibril, when the family was alerted by a white man. She said she rushed to the scene and got hit by the thief. She also hit him with a cooking pot.
Jarra said Gibril is the breadwinner of their family. She called on the government to do something about the matter. The deceased brother, Omar Ceesay, said the deceased is survived by a child.
“The thief stabbed him on the chest and on his side,’’ the brother said.
He explained he was also stabbed by the thief on his face and he fell down and rose again. He said the thief ran and they followed him up to the gate and hit him until he lost consciousness and they thought he was dead.
Mai Ceesay, the deceased older sister, said she last talked with him at around 11pm during the day of the incident. She said her younger brother promised to give her something in the morning.
“No one wants to tell me in the family that the thief had killed Gibril because they all knew how close we were. Gibril is ‘everything’ to me,” she said.
Alieu Fall said before the inception of the Fishmeal Factory, Sanyang was peaceful, but after its inception, robbery and stealing became rampant in Sanyang.