By Sailu Bah
Ya Binta Jarju, the 27 year old lady, who was shot dead by a personnel
of the ‘Joint Security Forces’ on Saturday night, has been finally
laid to rest yesterday, 9 March, 2015 at the Old Jeshwang Cemetery.
A large crowd of grieving relatives from the Gambia and the Casamance region of Senegal, friends, co-workers, Red Cross volunteers andneighbours converged at the Banjul mortuary in the morning and later
escorted the corpse to the Independence Drive Mosque before finally
taking it to its final resting place for burial around 4.30 pm.
Speaking to this reporter, a tearful Awa Jarju, the younger sister of
the late Ya Binta Jarju, said it is their breadwinner who is taken
away from them.
She described her late elder sister as very supportive and irreplaceable.
“After the death of our father last year, it was YA Binta who assumed
the responsibility of supporting the family. She was the breadwinner
of the family who was taking care of everything including feeding,
rent, school fees and other basic necessities. We have really lost our
support,” said the sobbing younger sister.
Ya Awa explained that their mother, Fatou Badjie, is a widow, who
engages in petty trade at the Banjul Market to assist Ya Binta in
covering some of the needs of the family with the little she earns
She said the late Ya Binta was the eldest child in a family of 6
siblings (two girls and four boys).
Explaining how they came to learn about this tragic incident, Ya Awa
said Ya Binta left home at around 6pm on that fateful day to attend a
social event at Manjai Kunda. “At around 8pm I called her to enquire
where she was and she told me that she’ll be coming home soon. Later
that evening around midnight, I received a call on my phone from
another number with a man’s voice asking me to come to Kotu as my
sister was in trouble,” she said.
She said she was very confused at the time as she did not know what
trouble her sister might have been involved.
“It never came to my thought that my sister was dead. I left Banjul in
a haste and rushed to Kotu where the incident occurred. Upon arriving
at the scene, I was shocked and could not believe seeing my sister in
that state in the taxi vehicle. From there I escorted the body to the
main hospital in Banjul,” she explained.
Ya Awa said: We are asking for justice to be done on this untimely
death of Ya Binta.”
Relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbours of the late Ya Binta
have all described her as a friendly, hardworking and determined young
lady whose death is a lost not only to her family but to many.
Pa Badjie, her cousin from Bakoteh, Jalika Jarju, her aunt, and
Ismaila Jarju, her father’s elder brother, have also expressed their
deep sense of lost and acknowledged that a big void has been created
in the family.
Red Cross members were present in the funeral as she was said to have
been a very active volunteer, serving as one of the school
Many people also came to express condolence to the bereaved family at
their residence at 14 Old Perseverance Street in Banjul.
By Sailu Bah