The body of deceased Chembur resident Jitender Singh Khalsa, which was expected to arrive in Mumbai last week has still not left Doha. No date for the arrival had been given, said Khalsa’s relatives. There are reportedly multiple clearance issues from the Doha International Airport authorities.
Khalsa (38), who took up a job as a clerk with Qatar Engineering and Construction (QEC) in Doha in September last year, died under mysterious circumstances two months later, on November 25. QEC had then informed the family that he passed away due to ‘acute heart and respiratory failure’ minutes before boarding a flight back home. However, his family has refuted the claims, saying that he was in good health. The family has also alleged that QEC had not shown them Khalsa’s ticket and boarding pass to prove that was returning home. CCTV footage from the airport, however, showed that Khalsa collapsed twice in the departure lounge that day.
After appeals to the external affairs ministry produced no result, Khalsa’s younger brother, Dilip Singh approached the Bombay High Court. Following the court’s intervention, the family received an email from QEC on August 6, stating that the body would be flown to them the next day.
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“We have only received one official statement from his employers regarding the delay and it states that there are ‘immigration issues’ responsible for the delay. However, there were no specifics regarding the final date of arrival mentioned,” said a member of the Khalsa family.
Cargo officials at the Doha International Airport have said the delay is mainly due to two mandatory certificates, which were not procured by Khalsa’s employers, QEC. “The body was unable to be sent on August 7 as an embalming certificate for the body produced by QEC was found to be invalid, as it had expired. A No-Objection Certificate from a local hospital in Doha is also required to certify that that the body does not carry any infection,” a cargo official at the Doha International Airport told Newsline over the phone.
Khalsa’s body has been stored in a mortuary in Doha for the past eight months as his family has refused to accept it without knowing the cause of death.