The suspects are currently remanded at the Janjanbureh Prison after their appearance before Magistrate Omar Jabang of Basse Magistrate Court.
Gambian police have taken 23 people to court who are charged with different offences in connection to caste violence in Koina, Kantora District of Upper River Region. The 23 people were charged with assault causing actual body harm and arson. One of them has been charged with incitement.
The 21 suspects accused of violent misconduct were put before the Base magistrate’s court on Tuesday. The suspects were remanded into custody till 17th June when their hearing continues.
According to The Point newspaper report, at least ten people sustained injuries on Saturday following a caste fight between the so-called slaves and nobles in Koina.
Online images and videos emerged showing wounded people said to be victims of the attack, causing outrage among Gambians.
The case of violence among castes members of the Koina community was reported to Fatoto Police Station, police spokesperson Lamin Njie told Kerr Fatou.
“It is said that someone wore a T-shirt with the inscription GAMBANA which didn’t go down well with certain individuals resulting to violence,” said Njie.
“During the violence, houses were burnt, properties destroyed, and individuals sustained injuries as well.
“The Police deployed the PIU (Police Intervention Unit) at Fatoto which intervened to restore calm and peace, subsequently investigations are opened.”
According to The Point, the fight broke out when one Muhammed Krubally tied a head scarf with the writing ‘Gambana’ on it; which means “we are all equals” in the Sarahulleh.
The source said Mr. Krubally went with the scarf to pray at the community Mosque and immediately when he entered the Mosque during the Ishar prayers, he was gripped and tied-up by the accused persons and taken to one Essa Gumaneh’s compound.
The concept of nobles and slaves are deeply entrenched in certain Gambian societies.