Fuad Abu Bakr

Fuad Abu Bakr, reportedly arrested on Tuesday for reason yet to be ascertained.

Minister of National Security Stuart Young said that criminal elements are behind the protest action at various points in Port of Spain, and he has asked for a report on who stands to gain by disrupting the peace and quiet of the capital city.

Young said that he was told that people were being paid money to go to protests in the streets.

He called for calm on Tuesday, as he held at a press conference while protest action continued across several areas in Port of Spain, Cocorite, Laventille, and Beetham Gardens.

The National Security Minister said he was also informed that people were using the protests as as an opportunity to shoot at police officers.

He confirmed that Fuad Abu Bakr was arrested by police on Tuesday morning.

Young also confirmed that a projectile had hit the third floor of the Ministry of Legal Affairs Building at Richmond Street.

He called the protest actions "carefully preplanned disturbances".

"The TTPS has the support of the Defence Force and they will not hesitate to do all that is in their power to keep the peace. I am appealing as a law abiding citizens, as a person who cares about Trinidad and Tobago, to refrain from those who have criminal intent to disrupt and disturb the peace. Do not allow yourselves to be encouraged and get your messages across", said Young.

He said there are two current investigations into the three men who were shot and killed by police on Saturday, These investigations were being conducted by the TTPS, and by independent statutory board of the Police Complaints Authority, he said.

An unprecedented number of people have blocked main entrances into Port of Spain and have brought civil unrest into the capital as scores of protesting residents ramped up protest action.

Multiple gunshots were heard across the city, as police officers fired shots into the air to disperse groups of protestors at Beetham Gardens and on the streets of East Port of Spain. 

By mid-morning, the Priority Bus Route was almost clear of any traffic heading into Port of Spain, as many maxi taxi drivers halted their services reaching into City Gate, where at least one point was blocked with burning debris.

Express journalist Gyasi Gonsalves reported that a group of at least 20 clusters of men were seen being chased by police officers, who also shouted at them to leave the streets.

Gonsalves said that police tried to coral people and instructed them to return to their homes .

Senior police officers, riot police officers, amalgamated security officers and ambulances were also seen at the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, where there was gridlock traffic.

Many motorists sought alternative routes to avoid the gridlock.

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PRESIDENT Paula-Mae Weekes early yesterday proclaimed a state of emergency on the advice of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley - but citizens were not privy to the relevant regulations that guide their movement until further notice until late yesterday evening.

And according to the “Emergency Powers” enacted by President Weekes under Section 7 of the Constitution, anyone violating the inherent regulations will face a hefty $250,000 fine.