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No workmen were scene at the Monkey Town Public Cemetery yesterday, as construction has been stopped pending an investigation launched by the Penal Debe Regional Corporation following the indiscriminate digging up of about 20 graves and several tombstones this week by a contractor hired to construct a retaining wall.

A Barrackpore widow has initiated legal action against the Penal Debe Regional Corporation for desecrating the burial ground of her husband and six other relatives during last week’s excavation works at the Monkey Town Public Cemetary.

In a late-night emergency virtual sitting, Savitri Sookram, 67, sought an injunction, blocking the corporation from conducting further works at the graves of her relatives. This follows last week’s incident where several graves at the cemetery in Barrackpore were dug up during excavation works by a contractor resulting in the coffins and human remains being exposed.

Several families whose loved ones were buried at the cemetery objected after the graves were desecrated.

During the hearing before Justice Robin Mohammed, however, the corporation gave an undertaking to halt works and remove all equipment at the Sookram family’s burial sites for 30 days. The chairman, aldermen, and councillors were also named as defendants.

Represented by attorneys Wayne Beharry, Satesh Emrit, and Indira Binda, Sookram stated in the court documents that seven members of her family were buried at the cemetery. Whether by themselves, their servants, and/or employees, the corporation gave an undertaking that it would desist from further excavation, or remove any materials, or coffins, or personal items, or the remains of Sookram’s deceased relatives and equipment from their burial sites.

It also assured it would not disturb any of her loved ones graves.

However, the corporation was allowed two days to safeguard the burial sites and roadway from any further landslides.

Directions were given for the filing of further court documents and costs were reserved.

The corporation was represented by corporate secretary Neralla Rampersad and CEO Betty Ramdass-Ali.