In a shooting with all the hallmarks of a bias crime, a well-loved trans woman, a performer, an HIV worker, a community advocate, was murdered Tuesday. Sasha Fierce she chose to be called.
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Who killed my daughter?
“Who did this to you? I want to know what happened to my little girl.” These were the heart-rending words of Rehana Dubay, as she sobbed over the coffin of her daughter Jaya Dubay-Ramrattan at their Wilson Road, Penal, home yesterday. Dubay-Ramrattan, 32, was savagely beaten, strangled, and stuffed in a car trunk. Her corpse was found last Thursday, a week after she went missing.
Rehana, whose husband Kissoon Dubay died of a heart attack just two months ago, said she wanted justice. Clutching her daughter’s photograph, her tears dripping on the sealed coffin, Dubay sobbed, “I want closure. I want justice. I want to know who is responsible for this.” A close male relative who spent two days in police custody before being released was present at the funeral.
Dubay-Ramrattan’s brother Amit was inconsolable while husband Rishi Ramrattan struggled to hold back tears as he held their daughter Jaeda in his arms. Hundreds of mourners braved inclement weather to attend the funeral. Dubay-Ramrattan worked as a nurse at the Community Hospital of Seventh-Day Adventists in Cocorite before her gruesome death. Many of her colleagues and friends also attended the funeral.
Pundit Kiran Maharaj, who grew up with Dubay-Ramrattan, described her as a caring, loving person. “No words could bring solace to this family or take away the feeling of grief they feel,” Maharaj said. He advised that Dubay-Ramrattan’s death should serve as a lesson to others. “We hope that after this, some of us can change our lives and live in a better way for our families and ourselves,” Maharaj said. He added that death strikes every day.
“This death should awaken in all of us the urge to be better people and to live for others and those who are beside us,” the pundit added. After Hindu rituals were completed, Maharaj invited mourners to sing bhajans (religious songs) for Dubay-Ramrattan. Afterwards her casket was wheeled outside. Amit, shoved aside mourners to get to the hearse, while Ramrattan held on to the vehicle sobbing. The body was then taken to the Shore of Peace at La Romaine for cremation.
Police said yesterday that they were working on several leads and hoped to make an arrest soon. Barrackpore police as well as the Southern Homicide Bureau are continuing investigations.