A 37-year-old man from Balliewal village of Ludhiana died during work at Jebel Ali town of Dubai on April 16.
His family on Tuesday said that the company he worked for is claiming that he was tested positive for coronavirus posthumously and hence the body cannot be sent back to India for last rites.
The family alleged that the company is using coronavirus as an excuse because the man died in accident during work, not because of coronavirus. They have appealed to the government of India to intervene and help them in getting the body back home.
Balwinder Singh had gone to Dubai six years ago. He had been working as a carpenter with a construction firm.
Manjit Singh, his paternal cousin and sarpanch of the village, said that on April 16, they received a call from the company informing them that Balwinder died in an accident during work. “They said that he was working on 10th floor of a building and the chain of crane which was lifting him up, suddenly snapped and he fell down on the ground. His head crashed on the floor and he died,” said Manjit.
However, on Saturday the company official informed the family that Balwinder was tested positive for coronavirus posthumously and hence his body could not be sent back to India.
“We refuse to believe this. They themselves said that he died in an accident during work. Now they are saying that he was tested positive for coronavirus after his samples were taken posthumously. It is just a plain excuse because they do not want to send the body back,” the sarpanch said.
Balwinder is survived by old parents, wife and three small children – two daughters (aged 6 and 4) and a son aged 2.
His father works as a labourer and due to the lockdown, his family has no source of income currently.
“His salary of two-three months was also pending with the company. Now they are making this coronavirus excuse so that they can cover their own loopholes and do not have to give pending salary to his family. His family is very depressed and wants the body back for last rites. They are being harassed. We appeal to government of India to intervene and help us in getting the body back home. The government should also see that his family get their right from the construction company he worked for,” the sarpanch said.
He added that due to the lockdown, the family is already suffering a lot because Balwinder’s father has no work. “His wife and children have nowhere to go. We just want his body back for last rites and his pending salary,” he said.
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