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Cops explore kidnapping link

Friday, July 11, 2014
Police officers during their search for 81-year-old Roy Kublalsingh (inset) at Claxton Bay yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

Police are exploring kidnapping as one of the theories in the disappearance of 81-year-old Ray Kublalsingh after another unsuccessful day of searching for the environmental activist. Officers from the Anti-Kidnapping Unit and Southern Homicide Bureau joined the search yesterday but up to late afternoon not even a trail was found. Southern Division Task Force, tracking dogs, soldiers, helicopters and villagers, including Kublalsingh’s son, Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, combed the hilly terrain near his home at Kowlessersingh Road, Union Village, Claxton Bay. 


While the search was ongoing, investigators also interviewed several neighbours. On Tuesday, Kublalsingh left his home around 10 am to fetch cassava branches from a garden in a forested area at the back of the community. Police said kidnapping was always being considered as a possible reason for the disappearance. However, there has been no evidence to support this theory. A senior officer said yesterday: “Once we have a missing person, the Anti Kidnapping Unit and Homicide Bureau get involved. “We must inform them so they are part of the investigating team that is working with the task force and soldiers. Yesterday, the AKU and Homicide Bureau were doing other inquiries that are related to the case.” 


Word of a possible kidnapping spread around the community but the Kublalsinghs have not received a request for a ransom. Asked if he suspects kidnapping, Wayne said: “It is difficult to say. I think we need to explore our options before coming to any conclusions. “I think it would be a mistake to choose one or two options when maybe there are six or seven options. We are exploring all of them and we are going to get assistance from the police to do this.” The Kublalsinghs have been involved in several environmental protests against mega projects initiated by the past and present Government. That presented a challenge to them as Wayne explained his father would occasionally get into debates with people over their activism. “He has always had ongoing debates with members of the public because he supported us fully in the days of our smelter protests. “He has been one of my chief activist partners so occasionally he gets into debates with people on the streets who are either supporting us or opposing us,” he added.
His sister Judy said although the family was not ruling out that something could have happened to their father, they were holding onto hope that he was still there.


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