Urging mourners not to avenge the death of Dr Rudradeva Sharma, childhood friend Aaron Partap yesterday called on citizens to forgive the kidnappers who snuffed out Sharma’s life.
Sharma who was kidnapped with another doctor, Dr Vijay Naidoo, died after the car they were travelling in flipped 12 times before crashing off the Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension last week. Three kidnappers were injured while a fourth walked away unscathed.
Naidoo told relatives that it was because of Sharma that he survived the crash as Sharma shielded him from impact.
Partap who studied with Sharma at Presentation College told mourners that Sharma never believed in hate, revenge or malice. He said: “Rudy was very spiritual and he believed that we should leave matters in the hands of God who is the judge of everything.”
He told mourners they should forgive the perpetrators, adding that everyone should pray for the nation. Founder of the UNC, Basdeo Panday and his wife Oma, who were close to Sharma’s parents attended the funeral but Panday said he could find no words to comfort the family at this time.
Sharma’s sister Renuka who delivered the eulogy said her brother was a deep thinker who had a passion for Mathematics and Science. She said he was awarded the Australian Mathematics Olympiad in 1996 and the Canadian Mathematics Olympiad in 1997.
“He was a skilful and self-taught guitarist. He had his own microscope, telescope and science set. He always carried pen and paper in which he wrote his encoded messages. He worked in Internal Medicine and in the Infectious Disease Unit. He loved Kung fu movies and engaged in deep meditation,” she added.
Specialist consultant in internal medicine Dr Neil Bhagwandass said Sharma was a diligent doctor who always worked extra hours and was committed to keeping his patients comfortable. Bhagwandass told Sharma’s family that all 170 plus doctors were standing with them in their time of grief. Uncle, Chandresh Sharma said for five years, Sharma worked every day in the hospital without taking a single day off.
“His workload was immense and he never faltered. In fact, it was not uncommon for him to take money out of his own pockets to give to his patients so they could travel home or buy medicine,” Sharma said.
Former President Anthony Carmona also praised Sharma for his commitment to saving patient’s lives, noting that Sharma death was a great loss to the medical fraternity.
“We are wallowing in venom, hurt and pain over his death. We have to do better in T&T. We have to make a change and create a human revolution in our lives to make T&T a better place. We are heading for disaster,” Carmona said.
He said Sharma’s legacy of service to humanity and compassion should be emulated by citizens. Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar who also spoke at the funeral broke down in tears.
“I’m hearing all kinds of stories going on but we must never forget that Rudra was the victim of a heinous crime,” she said. Persad-Bissessar said Sharma did everything right. He studied hard, excelled in his field and made his parents proud and while he saved the lives of many in the hospital working tirelessly during staff shortages, his life was taken away by criminals.
“Did he deserve this death? That is why we mourn more. How can you take this child away? What comfort can we give to parents? What do we do?
“A child torn out of your womb, what do we do. Every day children are murdered. In the South, North, East and West we are all crying. The change must come. We have to make that change to get the country going,” Persad-Bissessar said.
She added: “I’m not about politics now. I’m not about that. Today we grieve, we cry but as we leave today let us never say Rudra went in vain. We must band together and work together,” she added.
Following the funeral rites, Sharma was created at the Mosquito Creek Shore of Peace.
Police not baffled
The Police Service said yesterday that it has not changed the course of its investigations into the death of Sharma. In a statement issued on Sunday, the TTPS said that according to Acting Deputy Commissioner (Operations) Jayson Forde, enquiries by the Homicide Bureau of Investigations have thus far, continued to support the earlier account given by the TTPS.
The statement said that the TTPS is investigating a report that “both doctors went to Pleasantville, purchased a quantity of marijuana, then proceeded to Rushworth Street Extension, where they parked the vehicle and began smoking their marijuana.
It added that : “Whilst smoking, they were accosted by three men who robbed them and tied them up. One of the men, accompanied by his two accomplices and the bounded doctors, drove the doctor’s vehicle north along the Solomon Hochoy Highway.
“Upon reaching the area of Macaulay, the vehicle lost control and crashed. All parties on board were injured. One of the doctors and one of the robbers subsequently died.”
Dr Sharma, 38, of La Romaine, died when the vehicle crashed around 1.50 am on Wednesday 15th January. Dr Naidoo, 37, of Palmiste and the three suspects were taken to the San Fernando General Hospital for treatment. One of the suspects, identified as Akeem Marine, 19, of Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando, succumbed to his injuries. Police say he was a known firearm offender.
Dr Naidoo has since been discharged, while the two other suspects are warded at hospital.