Saturday, May 27

Police probe alleged church attacks in Bakau, Tallinding

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In Bakau, a Police probe has uncovered that a case of vandalism of The Mary Stature at the entrance of the church was reported at Bakau Newtown Police Post by a member of the Church, on April 9, 2023. The case was reported without any identified suspect at the first instance.

That same day, precisely on Sunday evening, three young boys (names withheld) were allegedly found on the rooftop of the church, claiming to be searching for their stray doves. The suspects are being arrested and currently helping the police in their investigations.

In a separate incident, Father Peter Jammeh, one of the church leaders at the said church, claimed being physically assaulted by an “unknown drunken mob”, while attempting to assist a frail-looking old woman right opposite the church across the main road in Bakau on a Saturday morning around 10:00 am.

According to Father Jammeh’s narrative, in an altercation with the alleged “drunken boys”, he claimed that he was sprayed in the eyes with pepper spray. Police investigators have visited the scene of the incident in Bakau and have also spoken with the priest himself, Peter Jammeh. It is confirmed that Father Peter Jammeh has neither reported the allegation of being assaulted to any police station nor was he able to identify anyone of the suspects for further Police probe.

Meanwhile, in all this, our investigators established that Father Peter Jammeh was not at the services of the church nor was he dressed in any church apparel during his alleged confrontation with the alleged “three drunken boys.”

A similar but different incident was reported in Tallinding between some members of the Muslim community and a church. In the wake of news media reportage on the matter, citing loud music of church mass disrupting Muslims’ Tarawih (night) prayer as the cause of the clash. Both parties were invited to Tallinding Police Station, and the matter is being transferred to the relevant authorities for a resolution.

By and large, our preliminary investigations reveal that the Bakau and the Tallinding incidents occurred in different locations, dates, and times and are of isolated nature. Therefore, it is vital to note that these incidents are neither corresponding nor correlated.

The Gambia Police Force remains committed to protecting the rights of all citizens, irrespective of their religious affiliations. To this end, the public is urged to desist from spreading false information capable of compromising the peace and security of the country while firmly upholding the principles of justice and accountability at all times.