By Lamin Fatty
A contingent of the police intervention unit sent from Fatoto were withdrawn from Garawol on Friday 16 November, 2018, after uneasy calm returned in the town. Police sources say they were in the village since 10am but the situation had returned to normal and they did not see the need to stay there any further. They departed after the Friday prayers.
A caste scuffle in Garawol in the Upper River Region (URR) on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, left one Mahamadou Ceesay dead. The report alleged that Mahamadou was stabbed to death by one Billaly Conteh with a knife in the stomach; that the alleged stabber had fled and is nowhere to be seen.
Meanwhile, the compound of Samba Nana Trawalleh from the slave community was set of fire in the early hours of Sunday morning. The cause of the fire is not known and no arrest has been effected.
Samba Trawalleh, who was assaulted by the chief after taking exception to remarks at the funeral, was arrested on Saturday by the police at Fatoto and taken to Basse. His arrest was effected upon allegation by a free born boy that he (Samba Trawalleh) assaulted him (the boy) while he was coming from a shop.
Meanwhile the Kantora District Chief Batcho Ceesay, has denied that he or members of his family have been arrested by the Fatoto Police. The rumour mill spun of his arrest by Fatoto Police in the aftermath of the violent caste scuffle in Garawol where he was alleged to have assaulted one family member of Chalaw Dusu Dambele.
Speaking to this reporter at his home in Fatoto after Friday prayers, Chief Batcho Ceesay said only one member of his family was called for questioning, but was not arrested. He said that all the trouble started during the burial of Chalaw Dusu Dambele and blamed ‘unscrupulous elements’ of the community for inciting the violence.
The Chief also explained that the deceased who was killed, was called Mahamadou Ceesay but is commonly known in the village as Haji Mariama.
The Chief further acknowledged that he assaulted Samba Nana Trawalleh at the burial site but explained that he did so to calm the situation. Chief Ceesay told this reporter that the caste system has been a tradition and custom of many language groupings. He however said that there is no enforced slavery nowadays and that the tradition and custom is just by word of mouth, and nothing else.