The couple, who died after suffering heart attacks within the space of a few minutes of each other after their flight took off from the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), was on Friday cremated in Dibrugarh, Assam, where they had been living for several years.
Premlata (70) suffered a heart attack mid-air on Thursday. Minutes later, her husband Santi Lal Jain (75) suffered a heart attack on the ground after the aircraft made an emergency landing.
Their bodies were handed over to their family after police ruled out foul play. Police said Santi Lal had undergone a bypass surgery in the past. Premlata had a brain tumour.
On Thursday, the couple and their children had boarded a SpiceJet flight to Guwahati. The flight took off at 2.40 pm from Terminal 1D.
Twenty minutes after takeoff, Premlata fell unconscious, sources in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is in charge of airport security, said. Moments later, Santi Lal, too, fell unconscious.
At 3.15 pm, the aircraft made an emergency landing and the couple was rushed to Max hospital at the domestic airport. Premlata was declared brought dead. Soon after, Santi Lal, too, suffered a heart attack.
“The family gave in writing that they did not have any doubts as far as the cause of death was concerned and that the couple was suffering from ailments. Following this, we handed over the bodies. There were no external injury marks on their bodies and we ruled out foul play,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGIA) M I Haider said.
The bodies were taken to Safdarjung Hospital for a medical examination. “Since no external evidence of unnatural death was found, the family’s wishes were taken into account and no post-mortem examination was done,” a hospital official said.
The family has a retail business in garments and fabrics in Dibrugarh. A Marwari from Rajasthan, Santi Lal is survived by two sons and five daughters. Jain looked after the business with his elder son. The younger son has shifted to Guwahati to set up his own enterprise.
Santi Lal was elected ward commissioner of the Dibrugarh Municipal Board from the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in the late eighties and was also associated with socio-cultural organisations.
“Santi Lal had undergone a bypass surgery 10 years ago. Despite that, he maintained good health and was very active. Premlata was diagnosed with cancer three months ago and was undergoing chemotherapy at a hospital in New Delhi. The couple was accompanied by their eldest son and daughter-in-law on the flight on Thursday,” neighbour R K Todi said.