Indian envoy in UAE “appalled” after mortal remains of 3 deceased nationals sent back

Abu Dhabi:  Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor has expressed shock over the mortal remains of three Indians being sent back to Abu Dhabi after they were flown to their families in India, according to a media report on Saturday.

The deceased were not coronavirus cases but were returned by the authorities in New Delhi, the Gulf News reported.

“We are appalled at what has happened. We do not know if the bodies were returned because of coronavirus-related restrictions, but we are obviously not sending the remains of people [who have passed away from COVID-19],” Kapoor told the daily.

“[As we understand], it happened because of new protocols at the airport and we are trying to sort it out,” he said.

The deceased were identified as Kamlesh Bhatt, Sanjeev Kumar and Jagsir Singh. Bhatt died of cardiac arrest on April 17, both Kumar and Singh had died on April 13.

A foreign worker’s employer has to usually arrange cargo companies to repatriate bodies of deceased persons.

If airport protocols have changed, it means cargo companies have to be more careful about the clearance they’re getting, Kapoor told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Indian government on Saturday told the Delhi High Court that it will find out from the embassy concerned about the location and condition of the mortal remains of Bhatt, who died in UAE and his body was returned to Abu Dhabi from Delhi due to immigration issues.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Acharya, representing the Centre, submitted that it being a unique case, the ministries of Home Affairs and Health and Family Welfare are in the process of framing Standard Operating Procedures so that in future there is no difficulty in similar matters.

She further said that a meeting was going on at the highest level to consider the petitioner’s case and prayed for some time to report about it.

The law officer said the Centre shall find out from the concerned Embassy as to the location and condition of the mortal remains of the deceased which were flown back from India.

Governments across the world have imposed unprecedented restrictions in view of the coronavirus outbreak, resulting in difficulties in repatriating remains of deceased persons.

The coronavirus, which originated in China’s Wuhan city, has claimed nearly 2,00,000 lives and infected over 2.8 million people in the world so far. The virus has taken 64 lives in the UAE.

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