Monday, April 27, 2020

Back, finally: Bodies of Indians return from UAE days after being sent back from Delhi airport

Three days after India Today reported on how the Bureau of Immigration refused to off-load mortal remains of three Indian nationals who died of reasons other than Covid-19, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued fresh guidelines for importation of human remains related with coronavirus.

Following these fresh orders specific to coronavirus, it was clear that non-Covid deaths of Indian nationals on foreign soil would be treated as was done in the past, while strict regulations and procedures have to be followed for Covid-19 deaths.

After new guidelines were issued, the mortal remains of the three returned to India and were handed over to the respective families on Monday.

“It was only last evening [Sunday] after fresh orders from the MHA that procedures were carried out for the bodies to be sent back last night and handed over this morning to the relatives,” said a source.

Speaking to India Today from Abu Dhabi, Indian ambassador to UAE Pavan Kapoor said, “I am just very relieved that the mortal remains have finally been handed over to the grieving families.”

The mortal remains of Kamlesh Bhatt (25) and two others were sent back from the Delhi airport on Friday following some confusion, sources had said. The bodies were flown back to UAE without any intimation to the Indian mission or the authorities.
27/04/20 Geeta Mohan/India Today
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