Teacher stabbed 5 times in front pupils

In what po­lice be­lieve was a land dis­pute turned dead­ly, a 46-year-old fe­male teacher was bru­tal­ly stabbed with an icepick in front of her Stan­dard Two pupils at the St Pi­ous Boys’ RC School in Arou­ca on Mon­day.

Cathy Ma­haraj is now said to be fight­ing for her life in the In­ten­sive Care Unit of the Er­ic Williams Med­ical Sci­ences Com­plex, Mount Hope, where her con­di­tion was classed as “very crit­i­cal.”

The in­ci­dent oc­curred around 2 pm when her at­tack­er, who is said to be 26-years-old, un­ex­pect­ed­ly stormed in­to her class­room and dealt her two stabs in the chest and three stabs to her back in full view of her shocked pupils.

Guardian Me­dia was told that the chil­dren be­gan scream­ing and cry­ing, caus­ing oth­er mem­bers of staff to run in­to the class­room where they found Ma­haraj on the ground cov­ered in blood.

The at­tack­er fled the scene but has been iden­ti­fied as the ex-boyfriend of one of Ma­haraj’s close fe­male rel­a­tives.

Po­lice have since launched a man­hunt for the sus­pect, whom they said has sev­er­al mat­ters be­fore the court and is al­so well-known to the po­lice. He was al­so shot and wound­ed a few months ago and was hos­pi­talised.

This in­ci­dent sparked shock, out­rage and hor­ror among par­ents whose chil­dren at­tend the school, teach­ers and oth­er sup­port staff, who are still very trau­ma­tised.

One par­ent, who spoke anony­mous­ly, said she was con­cerned about the se­cu­ri­ty at the school and the emo­tion­al sta­bil­i­ty of the chil­dren who wit­nessed the bloody at­tack.

“We un­der­stand that the se­cu­ri­ty guard on du­ty that day is new to the school and was not aware of all the se­cu­ri­ty pro­to­cols and would have let the man in to see the teacher, but what hap­pens to the chil­dren now?

“They (pupils) will be scarred for life and re­live this hor­ri­ble sight in their lit­tle minds for­ev­er. They need re­al pro­fes­sion­al help to over­come this. What has our coun­try be­come? Peo­ple are filled with too much anger and rage. God help us.”

Speak­ing with the Guardian Me­dia yes­ter­day, Ma­haraj’s daugh­ter Anush­ka said her moth­er’s at­tack­er was her ex-boyfriend whom she end­ed a re­la­tion­ship with last year. How­ev­er, she said the at­tack had noth­ing to do with their sep­a­ra­tion but an al­leged breach of con­tract in the pur­chase of a par­cel of land from her moth­er.

“He start­ed build­ing on the land with­out per­mis­sion and put down some pieces of steel and he want­ed pay­ment for that, but there was an ini­tial agree­ment to pur­chase the land and he breached it. She told him he couldn’t be paid for the steel and told him that they would talk about it some more af­ter school be­cause she was in her class­room. That’s when he took out the icepick and stabbed her sev­er­al times,” Anush­ka told Guardian Me­dia.

A close friend of Ma­haraj, who wished not to be iden­ti­fied, said Ma­haraj didn’t de­serve be­ing at­tacked.

“That la­dy is very hard work­ing and re­spectable…she didn’t de­serve this. It’s a very sad day.”

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter An­tho­ny Gar­cia yes­ter­day wished for a speedy re­cov­ery to the teacher but al­so gave the as­sur­ance that a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be con­duct­ed to en­sure the un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent is not re­peat­ed.