The picture is clearer today. Ramesh Jacob was not a victim of a robbery. He was the victim of a hit. But why? Was his killing as a result of his doubles business? Was it because of his business as the owner of Raj Wrecking Service? Was it because he was very friendly and helpful to people in the Barrackpore community? Or was it because of jealousy? Was it because of his role as a State witness against six police officers charged with murdering three people in Moruga?
Police are probing all angles to this strange killing which took place on Saturday morning outside the National Cricket Center and Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
Jacob, 41, had just arrived at the venue around 6 am with his wife Halima and a co-worker. No sales had yet been conducted and there was no money to steal. He was setting up the coolers when a man wearing a white hoodie got out of a car and approached Jacob.
Without warning, he shot Jacob at the side of the face. As Jacob fell, the killer pumped more shots into his chest, killing him instantly.
The killer calmly waked away, got into the vehicle and was driven away. A most bold-faced assassination on a doubles vendor!
According to one investigator, “somebody got so damn next with Jacob, that they made sure he was dead. They knew his movements and they followed him. They also sent a message not to play with them. We are working on all angles. We have a certain lead, let’s see how this works out.”
His wife Halima, who witnessed the murder, asked, “How am I going to see another day without you? Oh baby, I love you.”
She added, “My husband only had time to put out two coolers when two of them pull up in a car, the driver and a fellar in the back seat. The car was dark, dark, dark. The fellar in the back seat jump out and this little Indian fellar, he could be my son, he shoot my husband. Oh God, this little Indian fellar let me down. I should not be an Indian again.”
Halima said her husband struggled to build the two businesses they operated. She said only the day before he held a prayers at their home. She said in spite of their struggles, she was willing to give up everything in exchange for her husband’s life.
She said, “My husband worked hard to reach where he is, he walked barefoot. We never had clothes, we never had food. When I study those days with this man. If he used to sleep out, I would say I am pleased with my husband’s death, but not this one. Not to witness this. I don’t know what karma we have with these children.”
Halima appealed to the Government for justice. “This is so unfair. Oh God give me justice. Rowley (Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley) ent go see, he happy now to watch poor people where they dey. I have two sons to send to school, you think Rowley go come and see we? What this world come to. My back have a hole, I have kidney surgery, what I go do.” Halima ran to the white panel van removing her husband’s body asking for an opportunity to touch his hands.
She was only able to touch the back of the vehicle, screaming “take me too.”
Jacob gave evidence for the prosecution on December 13, 2012 in the murder inquiry against Ag Cpl Khemraj Sahadeo, PCs Antonio Ramdhin, Glen Singh, Roger Nicholas, Ronaldo Rivero and Safraz Juman. The officers are charged with murdering the three friends Alana Duncan, Abigail Johnson and Kerron “Finger” Eccles on July 22, 2011, at Rochard Douglas Road, Barrackpore.
The six police officers are awaiting trial.