A Princes Town man was on Thursday warned by a High Court Judge against threatening or intimidating worshippers of the Churkoo Village Mandir, Princes Town. Failure to adhere to the warning could land Samaroo Ragoonanan in prison for contempt of court.
An injunction was granted to members of the Churkoo Village Mandir after they began receiving threats of violence from the title holder of a parcel of land which members of the temple had been using as a car park for more than 80 years.
The injunction was granted by Justice James Aboud against Ragoonanan, whom the worshippers say has been disrupting their religious services and also attempting to block the car park by placing boulders and steel rods at its entrance.
So serious were the threats that the members and Pundit Artma Maharaj had to seek the intervention and protection of officers of the Ste Madeline Police Station after Ragoonanan started bringing a gang of men in the area to further intimidate the worshippers.
Based on Maharaj’s affidavit, the temple has been using the parcel of land next door as its car park for over 80 years and claimed that Ragoonanan suddenly appeared and was attempting to deny them access on the basis that he is the rightful owner of the land.
Several other affidavits were filed by members of the executive of the Mandir in which they detailed their long history of their occupation and use of the car park. They indicated that it was used to support the Mandir in hosting religious functions, cultural events, and community activities.
However, they stated that the harassment recently began and in one instance guests at a wedding were threatened with violence by Ragoonanan who also blocked the path of the wedding car and threatened the videographer, Reuben Pariag.
The injunction prevents Ragoonanan from accessing the car park and restrains him from blocking or otherwise obstructing the parcel of land, pending the outcome of the substantive matter before the court.
Ragoonanan was further ordered to cease from threatening intimidating or harassing members of the Mandir.
Aboud warned Ragoonanan that disobedience and any breach of the injunction would be a contempt of court that could result in imprisonment.
Anand Ramlogan, SC, Alvin Pariagsingh and Alana Rambaran, appeared for the Mandir, while Ragoonanan was represented by Jewan Rampersad and Stephen Boodram.
A DANCER AT THE CHURKOO VILLAGE TEMPLE DURING DIVALI CELEBRATIONS