Women light candles during last night’s candlelight vigil in Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain.

Anna-Lisa Paul

A list of demands meant to empower women and ensure their protection against criminals has been issued by the leader of the Citizens Union of T&T (CUTT).

During what was supposed to be the last night of the candlelight vigil held in memory of Andrea Bharath at Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain yesterday – CUTT’s leader Phillip Edward Alexander demanded that applications by women for a firearm be fast-tracked; that prohibition laws be removed from items such as tasers and pepper spray; a Commission of Inquiry into the criminal justice system; and the immediate removal of the entire Cabinet.

Urging the country to stand united and stop allowing politicians to divide them based on race and ethnicity, Alexander urged the relevant authorities to, “Give our women the chance and the ability to put their attackers down, before their attackers throw them down a cliff in Aripo.”

As Inshan Ishmael and Ian Alleyne joined him on the stage also calling for a safer and better T&T, the trio shared similar sentiments as they agreed that more needed to be done to protect the nation’s women and youth.

Bharatt’s father and relatives joined the peaceful vigil in the capital around 9 pm.

Declining to speak, Andrea’s father appeared to be composed after the long day.

Still clad in pink jerseys bearing her picture, he along with the other relatives laid several wreaths under her picture which had been strung along the fence in Woodford Square.

Randolph Bharatt also lit several candles under her photo before quietly moving off-stage.

Andrea’s aunt, Sally Sooman thanked the country for their love and support as she said they had been surviving on a diet of prayer and love since her disappearance on January 29.

The 23-year-old of Arima was killed and her body dumped at the Heights of Aripo, Arima.

CUTT has indicated there will be another candlelight vigil on Saturday.