By: Kebba Ansu Manneh
One Bakary Colley, a young man resident of Bansang Pipeline in Central River Region (CRR), has been evacuated to the EFSTH in Banjul following a fight between National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (DLEAG) officers and youths in the provincial town.
Sources told TAT the incident occurred on September 26th, 2023, early in the evening around Njie’s Garage in Bansang.
DLEAG officers on a routine patrol saw six young men, including Colley, seated by the roadside.
A scuffle ensued when the Police drug squad officers attempted to conduct a search and seizure. Colley was severely “beaten” and ended up in Bansang Hospital.
“I was informed that he should be referred to Banjul for further check-up, but for now, he is in a coma,” said one Yaya Jallow, a youth activist in CRR who shared this information about the incident with TAT.
Ousman Saidykhan, DLEAG public relations officer, in a statement, subsequently informed TAT that on Tuesday, September 26th, 2023, around 20:00, DLEAG officers in the CRR got “a tip-off about a suspected drug-related activity in Bansang.”
They arrived near an old welding workshop and said they wanted to search.
“One Bakary Baldeh, who had Diazepam tablets commonly referred to as Ross, immediately attempted to swallow the controlled drugs in his possession.
“The officers reacted swiftly by preventing him from swallowing and destroying evidence.
“As the confrontation ensued, another person later known as Ousman Camara was arrested for obstruction, as he was found to be preventing the officers from executing their duty.”
Immediately, there was a mob, and stones were being thrown at the officers, according to the DLEAG narrative.
“Two of our officers sustained serious injury. One Bakary Colley, who is said to be among the mob, was also hit by a stone aimed at one of our operatives”, who was saved by “the swift action of a PIU officer who was on the scene,” the DLEAG PRO’s statement continued.
It added that “the two wounded officers were taken to the hospital for treatment by their colleagues, while Bakary Colley was escorted by his family members.”
“Our officers were treated and discharged, while Bakary Colley was referred to EFSTH in Banjul.
“The suspect who was found with the controlled drug, and the other person arrested for obstruction, were taken into custody while further investigations into the matter continue,” the DLEAG statement concluded.