With nowhere else to go, a few families evicted from the Clifton Hill, Point Fortin bungalows owned by now-defunct Petrotrin have moved back into the premises.
Some of the occupants have been paying rent to Morvant Construction Building Company while others were acting as caretakers of the property. The company claims to have legal rights to the land.
More than 20 families, including children, were forced out by armed police officers on Wednesday.
Several of them complained to Guardian Media about the harsh treatment meted out to them by the police. They said their furniture and appliances were damaged during the eviction and they were missing items.
They are demanding answers.
Franklyn Daniel who suffered 70 per cent disability following injuries sustained in an accident two years ago was among the residents evicted. Daniel who lives with his wife and two-year-old child recalled that the police, together with men dressed in plainclothes stormed into his home shortly after 5 am.
“They put guns to our face, and they pushing she (wife) outside and asking me what I doing here. I tell them I am the caretaker for here.” He tried to show them his documents but they refused to see it. Daniel said he was taken to Point Fortin Police Station then to Guapo Police Station and placed in a cell.
When they realized he had a disability, he said they took him out but he remained at the station for several hours and was then released without being charged.
When he returned home he realized that several items were missing. He made a report at the police station.
Among his items missing were about 20 cases of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages which he had purchased for a birthday lime.
His two rings valued at $4,200, a music box system, his son’s motorbike, and a power washer were also missing.
“They vandalize my stuff. I find this so unfair I living here two years now how come they now come and do this?”
Resident Akiel Francois said he spent the night in his car while his wife and four children ranging from 14 years to three weeks old slept in the bungalow.
“We had no choice. Some people stay on the roadside. It was not a nice situation last night. You had kids involved, a newborn and children three and four years old.”
He is calling on the government or whoever is responsible to rectify this situation.
“We are asking somebody to come in and give us assistance. If it is we cannot stay in the property and it is being investigated or whatever, the government whoever in authority please help us and give us a house, if they want us to pay rent or a mortgage we will do that.”
Several items were also missing from his house.
The police reportedly carried out the evictions on behalf of Petrotrin Legacy that has responsibility for outstanding Petrotrin matters, including legal matters.
However, there has been no confirmation or denial from the entity. Guardian Media also reached out to Energy Minister Franklin Khan on his cellphone but got no response.