Parents of a British Sikh girl who died suddenly while on holiday in India have moved a step closer to getting answers about her mysterious death.
Birmingham-born Gurkiren Kaur Loyal fell ill on a family holiday in Punjab back in April and was being treated for dehydration at a clinic in Khanna when staff reportedly gave her a mystery injection. The eight-year-olds parents claim her organs were then removed during a post-mortem to cover up the cause of death.
Their local councillor,Narinder Kaur Kooner,who has been spearheading a campaign for the return of these organs for a post-mortem in the UK,has now received an email confirming that the organs are at the Department of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh.
Now,we need to make an approach to them to try and get the organs released and repatriated. Were very excited about that. Weve also managed to make contact with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal,who has apparently said why did they remove the organs? They shouldnt have, Kooner said,following a candlelight vigil in memory of Gurkiren held in Birmingham on Saturday.
We dont know what the timescale is for this. But the fact theyve confirmed the organs are at the facility is a real breakthrough… we want to pursue that as quickly as possible, she added.
Hundreds of candles spelt out the word justice at Centenary Square in the heart of the city as family members and well wishers gathered in memory of the local schoolgirl. We need to get justice,not just for Gurkiren but for thers in a similar situation out there. Its a long process, said her mother,Amrit Kaur Loyal.
The family also carried buckets around Birmingham city centre raising cash for their campaign Justice4Gurkiren and collected signatures demanding a change in the law.
UK pathologists have been unable to carry out their own post-mortem tests on Gurkirens body to establish a cause of death because of the missing organs. The Birmingham Coroners Office has requested their return.
Amrit Loyal and the girls father Santokh Singh had recently also arranged a meeting with UK Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire in a bid to ramp up pressure on the Indian authorities.