Glenroy Sinclair and Edmond Campbell, Staff Reporters
As the police attempt to put a lid on the simmering political feud in the war-torn Mountain View community in the South East St. Andrew constituency, at least 95 persons have been taken into police custody since Wednesday.
"The majority (of them) have been processed and released, but six of them are being held on suspicion of involvement in various crimes committed in the area, plus a seventh person has been charged with illegal possession of firearm," Superintendent Assan Thompson told The Gleaner yesterday.
Schools remained closed
But despite the strong presence of heavily-armed members of the security forces, the community's two basic schools remained closed up to yesterday, likewise the corner shops in the area.
A peace march which was planned for yesterday by the United Mountain View Community Development Council had to be postponed, because of a lack of support from the residents.
"It does not make any sense go out there and march and the people are not moving around. The streets are empty, the basic schools are closed and the place is just dead," the council's president, Milton Tomlinson, explained.
At least three persons, including a Jamaica Defence Force soldier, have been shot and injured since Monday, when the two-year-old peace between Jacques Road, which supports the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party, and Saunders Avenue and Jarrett Lane, which back the governing People's National Party, was broken.
Rival gunmen traded bullets and attacked neighbouring communities. The sporadic shooting continued into early Tuesday morning. According to Mr. Tomlinson, the tension is now at a tolerable level.
Meanwhile, Junior Minister for Labour and Social Security, Senator Floyd Morris, has called for a collective response to subdue the recent flare-up of political violence in a number of Corporate Area constituencies.
Eliminate political violence
Speaking yesterday in the State of the Nation debate in the Senate, Mr. Morris contended that over the past 15 years the country had worked tirelessly to eliminate political violence, adding that it should not be allowed to permeate the society again.
"And we must do everything in our power to crush the head of that serpent that has surfaced in our country, because we are not going to tolerate it in any shape or form," Senator Morris told his colleagues in the Upper House.
Senator Morris recounted the terror unleashed on Jamaicans as a result of political violence which left a trail of destruction in the past.He insisted that Jamaica should not return to those dark days.