Drug Squad, ‘Area Boys’ clash in Bakau

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By Alagie Manneh  

There was pandemonium on Garba Jahumpa Road in Bakau yesterday afternoon as agents of Drug Squad found themselves in a tug-of-war with a group of boys when they attempted to take away suspects following a raid.

The agents who arrested a number of people suspected of being in possession of marijuana met stiff resistance as they attempted to drag away the arrestees out of town.
Dozens of young men including women, chased the agents from Farokono to the Garba Jahumpa road in Newtown, ruffling a number of them, dressed in civilian clothes.

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One of the agents, one Beyai, had a bruise on his face.
He told The Standard the boys were attacking them because of the arrests they made.
Another officer’s trousers was ripped apart.
But one Tabora Bojang, an onlooker, claimed the agents were rough and even used tear gas on the crowd and wrestled one man to the ground.

“When one of them released a tear gas into a young man’s face, another officer came and knocked him hard, followed by another,” he alleged.
At least three people claimed their phones were forcibly taken as they tried to film the disorder as it unfolded.
One of them was Baba Manneh, a shop-keeper in Newtown.
“I did nothing to them. I saw what was happening and I tried to video it but they rushed on me and wrestled me down,” he said.

Yankuba Janneh, another Bakau native, blamed the area boys for the commotion
“These officers were only doing their jobs. It is sad people think they can attack them whenever they come to Bakau. The last time they were attacked as well for making arrests. The government should send the army next time. Am sure they won’t attack the army.

“In this new Gambia, people think they can do whatever in the name of democracy,” he said.
Tida Njie, a young lady, was found crying on the road. She claimed her little brother who was coming from school, was taken away by the agents, “even though no weed was found on him.”
It is not clear where the arrestees were taken to.

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