Shock and Outrage as National Awardee Haseena Ali Murdered

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Haseena Ali (Photo Courtesy of National Gas Company)

Body Found in Pool of Blood as Fire Engulfs her Home

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Investigations are continuing into what the police say is
the murder of Haseena Ali, the former Commissioner and Chairperson of the Board of
Inland Revenue, whose body was found on Friday.

Shock, disbelief and outrage were some of the words used to describe the murder of
Ali who would have celebrated her 75th birthday on Sunday.

Ali was the recipient recipient of the Public Service Medal of Merit-Gold at the
National Awards held on Republic Day.

The police report that shortly before midday on Friday, residents saw smoke coming
from the upper floor of Ali’s two story house.

The police, along with members of the fire department and residents entered the
home to assist Ali, but she was found in a pool of blood with a wound to her head.
The firemen were able to contain the blaze and the body was moved.

The police say Ali was stabbed several times be­fore her house was set on fire to
cov­er up the act

Police believe robbery was the motive and that Ali fought against her attackers, which
led in her demise.

The suspects, police said, lit a stove burner in an attempt to burn the house down
with her in it, in a bid to burn all evidence.

However a badly wounded Ali still attempted to escape before she succumbed to her
injuries and died before the fire consumed most of her house.

Ali, the mother of a 37-year-old daughter and one of nine siblings,was a retiree of the
Board of Inland Revenue, where she served as commissioner and chairman from
1995 to 2003 and was also a member of the Salaries Review Commission.

Meanwhile, the Ummah T&T Muslim Lobby Group is calling on Commissioner of
Police Gary Griffith to “leave no stone unturned” in the investigations surrounding her
murder.

Ali’s funeral, according to the Trinidad Newsday took place on Saturday at 3.30 pm at
the Masjid-un-Nur in Carapichaima.

She was also an active member of the National Muslim Organisation of TT and also of
her local masjid, the Carapichaima Muslim Jammat Association, where she was
remembered by former tertiary education minister Fazal Karim as a dedicated person
who performed many charitable works in the community. Both Karim and Ali attended
the Carapichaima mosque.

In a telephone interview prior to attending Ali’s funeral, Karim was reported as telling
Newsday Ali was devoted in her secular and religious life.

“She was a very dedicated person in whatever she did, whether it was in official
duties in the government service, whether at NGC, she worked with commitment,
dedication and distinction. At the level of the mosque, she was involved in a lot of
charitable works where she will be dearly missed by all. She lived well with her
neighbours and was not known to offend any person,” Karim was quoted as saying.
Karim said Ali came from a highly respectable family and recalled that one of her
brothers, Yusuff Ali, was a TTT pioneer having worked at both TTT and Radio 610
am.

“The family is deeply religious, very involved in community and I pay my tribute to
Haseena Ali as someone, who would have made a significant, sterling and
outstanding contribution to all peoples with whom she came into contact, and I am
particularly proud to say she was a member of our jamaat and resident of
Carapichaima.”

He said Ali’s killing must not go unsolved and called on the police to bring the ones
responsible for her death to justice.

“This is something that we condemn, the perpetrators must be found and swiftly
brought to justice. I wish to also add my condemnation to the level of crime and
criminality which stalks our land.” Karim’s former ministerial colleague, Kevin
Ramnarine, who was minister of energy in the past administration, said in a tweet that
he was “shocked and deeply saddened” to hear of Ali’s murder. “I had the honour to
work with her when she served as a director of the National Gas Company. A kind,
humble and gentle human being has been taken from us,” he was reported by
Newsday as saying.

National Muslim Women Organisation treasurer Soriah Khan, who was initially at a
loss for words to describe Ali and her impact on the Muslim community, agreed.
“She was always helpful, you can’t believe she would be taken so quickly or in that
manner, words at this point in time can’t express the personality of that woman, she
just gave and gave,” Khan was reported as saying.

“In National Muslim Women, she was a pillar, she was always someone everyone
looked up to and ask advice on how to go about things. It is a grave loss to our
organisation.”

Ummah T&T Muslim, a lobby group, also expressed shock and outrage saying
members were at a “loss on how to react to this heinous crime which has robbed her
family, the public service and the Islamic community of one of its most valuable
assets.”

In conveying its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased, Ummah T&T is
calling on the authorities to quickly apprehend the suspects who committed this
dastardly act.

While Ummah T&T grieves for the loss of this “national treasure”, the group was
hurting especially since she was an active member of the Masjid-un-Nur in
Carapichaima.

“Mrs Ali was a mother of one and her demise at the hands of her sadistic murderers
must not go unpunished. Ummah T&T views her brutal slaying as the amputation of a
vital organ in the body politic of the Islamic community,” the organization says.

– Courtesy CMC and Trinidad Newsday.

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