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RADHICA DE SILVA
Nonchalant about the dangers of crime,
taxi driver Vishnu Roopnarine worked the
graveyard shift for five years hoping to earn
enough money to complete his new home
and to give his only daughter, Chelsea, a
But his efforts came to nought when he was
robbed of his car, killed and dumped on a riv-
erbank off Ramlal Trace, Cunupia.
The body, which bore gunshot wounds, was
discovered around 4 pm on Friday, but police
believe that Roopnarine, 47, was killed sometime
between 1 am to 5 am. His Nissan Almera has
not been recovered.
While his family wait for the results of an au-
topsy scheduled for tomorrow, police are doing
ballistic testing on the spent shells discovered
at the scene of the crime.
During an interview at the family’s Calcutta
No 1 home in Freeport, Roopnarine’s wife, Nan-
drani, said she was finding it difficult to believe
that Roopnarine had died.
“This doesn’t feel real. We were watching
Ian Alleyne’s show and we saw the body,” she
about her last mo-
ments with her
drani said he left
home around 1 am
on Friday to collect
pies from a bakery
which he usually
sold in Carapichai-
ma to supplement
his taxi driver’s income.
“He’s been doing this for five years. Every
morning, he would leave home at 1 am, pick
up pies in Port-of-Spain, run a few trips be-
fore returning to Carapichaima and I would help
him sell the pies,” Nandrani said. However, when
Roopnarine failed to return home around 6 am,
she grew worried.
“I called one of his regular customers whom
he picks up at 3 am, but the person said he didn’t
show up and it was then I realized something
was wrong,” Nandrani said. Around 10 am, she
went to the police and reported him missing.
“I tried calling his phone but it rang out. I went
to family and friends. I checked the hospital to
see if he was there and we never found him,”
The couple has two children—Vijay, 20, and
Chelsea, five. Nandrani said they were working
towards completing construction of their home
and Chelsea was expected to start primary school
Nandrani said this was what motivated Roop-
narine to work hard despite the dangers of crime.
‘I used to tell him it dangerous but he was
brave and fearless,” Nandrani said. Describing
her husband as a man without faults, Nandrani
said she did not know how to come to terms
with his death.
Police said they believe robbery was the mo-
tive behind the murder. Officers of the Cunupia
CID, Homicide Region III and Central Division
Task Force are continuing investigations.
Come together to
stop the slaughter
We must come together as
a nation and do everything
we can to stop the “beasts and
monsters” roaming our land,
Opposition Leader Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar has said.
Persad-Bissessar said we are all
responsible for the “murder and
mayhem” currently taking place
in this country.
She made the statements at
the funeral of 13-year-old Videsh
Subar whose throat was slit dur-
ing a break-in at his 56-year-old
neighbour Rose Mohammed’s
Ajim Baksh Road, Malabar, home
Mohammed, who was also killed
in the incident, had her final rites
observed on Friday.
Subar’s funeral took place at his
family’s home yesterday.
It was conducted by Pundit
Prakash Samsundar Tiwari.
Persad-Bissessar cried as she
spoke at Subar’s funeral.
country as a people we have to stop
this, we have to stop the slaughter,
we have to come together, we have
to work together I mean how can
this be?” Persad-Bissessar said.
“How can this happen and it is
our fault every one of us it is our
fault because we have failed to pro-
tect the young and the innocent,”
Persad-Bissessar said she had the
funeral of two murdered victims to
The final rites for Margaret Mills,
67, who died at hospital from stab
wounds to the heart and lung sus-
tained during a home invasion were
also observed yesterday. Mills is the
sister of councillor for Caparo/
Mamoral John Lezama.
“In our country now it is murder
and mayhem and what are we do-
ing? What as a people are we doing?
We come and we cry and we hug
up but what are we doing?” Per-
Persad-Bissessar called on at-
tendees at the funeral to not just
leave and remain unchanged.
“What happens tomorrow? To-
morrow will be another one, so let
us join hands, let us stop this let us
stop this brutality let us stop these
monsters, what kind of monsters
would do this?” she said.
“So all of you please do not wash
your hands when you leave here,
let us be our brother’s keeper, our
sister’s keeper and the keeper of all
our children let us work together
please let us do that,” Persad-Bis-
Speaking to the media following
the funeral Persad-Bissessar said:
“We have to do everything to cut
down these beasts and these mon-
sters, every step should be pulled
out before they go and slaughter
Emotional send-off for Videsh
It was an emotional send-off for
Around 9 am, his body was
brought to the house of mourning
by a Dass hearse.
When the coffin with Subar’s
body dressed in East Indian garb
was taken into the house a scream
shattered the silence on Ajim Baksh
When the funeral began, hundreds
of mourners were already gathered
at Ajim Baksh Road to pay their final
respects to the teenager.
Among those in attendance were
pupils of Ward’s Learning Living
Centre, the school that Videsh at-
Subar sat the Secondary Entrance
Assessment Examination (SEA) in
May and was awaiting results.
Education Minister Anthony
Garcia disclosed on Friday that the
teen had been placed in a secondary
school in Arima.
Subar’s mother, Dhanraji Veena’s
blood-curdling scream of “what
they did my baby that for?” rang
out throughout the funeral at vari-
ous intervals as she tried to come to
terms with her only child’s death.
Garcia called on the attendees to
be their “brother’s keeper”.
“It is really a sad day for all of us
here. In Trinidad and Tobago I don’t
know what has become of our coun-
try. Crime seems to have taken a hold
of us but it is the responsibility of
all of us to be our brother’s keeper
and while we share sorrow with the
bereaved family let us not forget, let
us remember always that we are our
brother’s keeper and if it is one thing
we can do in memory of this lost
soul is that we must bind together
and ensure that we stamp out this
scourge of crime,” Garcia said.
Subar’s best friend, Devanand,
described him as “the coolest guy”.
MP for D’Abadie/O’Meara Ancil
Antoine said the Government and
police “will not leave any stone un-
turned until we find and bring the
perpetrators of this crime to justice”.
Arima Mayor Lisa Morris-Julian
said she was a distant relative of the
“As devastated as we are I take
comfort in knowing that all unfair
games must play over whether in this
life or the next,” Morris-Julian said.
Opposition Senator Gerald Ram-
deen and Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel
Martinez were also in attendance.
Dhanraji Veena was distraught
during yesterday’s service and was
unable to walk and had to be assisted
by her husband, Lennon Martin, and
She collapsed several times and
an ambulance was called.
As Subar’s coffin was being re-
moved from the family’s home and
taken to the Caroni Cremation Site,
Dhanraji Veena screamed for him to
“Why did they take my baby?
Why? Why? Why? I want my baby,”
Dhanraji Veena screamed.
As the hearse drove off the rain
came down. (See Page A16)
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar consoles
Lennon Martin Subar during the funeral for his son,
Videsh, 13, who was murdered. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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