The main Parliamentary Opposition is calling on the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) to immediately launch an investigation to determine whether the Region Two Commander, Superintendent Khemraj Shivbaran attempted to coverup allegations of rape levelled against Local Government Minister, Nigel Dharamlall.
Most notably, the purported settlement agreement in the form of a quasi-nondisclosure agreement (NDA) should be the subject of the investigation, the opposition said, referencing the commander’s alleged signature on a report saying that the child did not make the damning allegations on social media. In the document seen by this publication, the teen is purported to have said that she did not release any such information regarding her personal life to anyone. The Commander’s signature is seen affixed to the statement as the officer who took the statement from the child in the presence of her parents.
However, the child later said that her parents received a multimillion-dollar payout to provide the statement against her wishes.
Shivbarran has since denied any attempt to thwart the flow of justice. In a Stabroek News article dated June 21, 2023, the Commander was quoted as saying: “I never attempted to pervert the course of justice. They came to me with this screenshot of the information being shared on Facebook and said they have nothing to do with it,” he said, before adding “I acted professionally and if claims of rape or a report was made I would have followed the SOPs [Standard Operating Procedures].”
Dharamlall’s fate now lies with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), who is expected to provide legal advice on the matter upon receiving the file. The minister, Guyana Standard understands, has proceeded on leave. However, the Opposition wants him removed from office forthwith.
“Since multiple reports on the matter are readily available to the President, he must act immediately with the urgency this matter demands. The Minister must be removed from public office immediately. Minister Dharamlall is not a public servant, he was not appointed in accordance with the Public Service Commission. He is a political appointee and not a public servant.
“Consequently, the rules of the public service are not applicable to Mr. Dharamlall and therefore he cannot be sent on administrative leave pending the investigation and possible charges into the serious and odious allegations of rape and sodomy,” a statement from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition said.