The search for Ray Kublalsingh ended in heartbreak yesterday as the 81-year-old grandfather of 12 was found dead metres away from his Claxton Bay home. Yesterday, Kublalsingh, father of Highway Re-route Movement (HRM) leader Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, was found by his neighbour Ramesh Outar while searching the hilly terrain near his home at Kowlessarsingh Road, Union Village, Claxton Bay, around 2 pm.
Kublalsingh went missing on Tuesday afternoon after he went into the forested area to pick cassava branches to plant in his garden. Yesterday Shireen, Kublalsingh’s wife of 57 years, had to be supported by her children as she held on to the undertaker’s van carrying her husband’s body. She began sobbing while holding on to the tray of the van before the body was taken away by the police escort. Relatives broke down in tears as the van drove off.
A member of the search party told the T&T Guardian that Kublalsingh’s body, which was lying face up, was found 400 metres away from the point where Thursday’s search had ended. He said corbeaux were seen circling in the area. Kublalsingh’s daughter Judy said the family was not expecting the retired painting contractor to be found dead. In fact, she said, earlier in the day the family was discussing the option of turning to Crime Stoppers for help and had mapped out areas to expand their search efforts.
She said the discovery of Kublalsingh’s semi-decomposing body had left the family distraught. They could not say what happened to Kublalsingh since he did not have any serious medical conditions, though he had had bypass surgery some years ago. She said the family would have to wait until Monday, when the autopsy was done, to find out how he died.
“We are not sure if he walked out to that area and tried to make it to the highway. He was strong, he could have done it, and maybe exhaustion got the better of him. If there was foul play involved, we don’t know. We will have to wait to see. ”Of course we are heartbroken. We were hoping for a happy outcome and that he would come back with some funny story.” Judy described her father as an “independent thinker” who had a lot of energy.
“He was a fighter. He was an independent thinker, very, very astute. He thought outside the box. He was not concerned about what people said or thought about him. He had deep, deep integrity and morality and passion,” she said. Faith, Kublalsingh’s eldest daughter, said her father was supposed to travel to New Jersey this month for her daughter Candace’s wedding. “He was so looking forward to it. He was excited,” she said. Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised.
Yesterday was a bittersweet day for HRM leader Wayne Kublalsingh, who achieved victory in the High Court. Wayne, who arrived shortly after 4 pm from court in Port-of-Spain, said he was grateful for all the support the family had received from the security forces and people who helped search for his father. He dedicated yesterday’s court victory to his father. Speaking with the media shortly after winning a partial victory, the younger Kublalsingh thanked the media and the security agencies for helping the family search for his father.
“Many people do not know this, but he used to get into fights on High Street (San Fernando). His glasses were broken on the street, not necessarily because he fully supported a cause, but he supported a principle on which I stood, and he fully supported his son. ”I want to pay tribute to his life. He lived a full life. He was a man of great aggression. He came from the mighty class of the Sikh warriors—his parents were Sikhs—so he was made of great and powerful stuff.”