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Indian’s body still in Saudi morgue after two years of death

The Indian Embassy wants to know the cause of death while the hospital claims it has no casket to send him home

Published: Updated:

The body of an Indian expatriate who was found dead in a Jubail suburb in 2011 is still lying in a morgue.

The Indian Embassy wants to know the cause of death while the hospital claims it has no casket to send him home.

An embassy official assigned to complete the procedures of repatriating the body said the embassy cannot receive any dead body without a medical report clearly stating the cause of death.

The man was allegedly murdered by an unknown killer based on a police report.

The embassy official said the procedures of sending the body home were completed after the receipt of the police report but the process was further delayed by the lack of a casket in the hospital.

An employee of the company that supplies the Ministry of Health with caskets said it had a three-year contract with the government department.

The employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the ministry renewed the contract only last week and the company is to provide Eastern Province Health Affairs with 25 caskets every week.

“After the renewal of the contract, we immediately sent the caskets to the Eastern Province,” he said. Khaled Al-Ossaimi, spokesman of EP Health Affairs, said after receiving enough caskets preparations were being made to fly the body back home.

He said another reason behind the delay was that neither his family nor his sponsor were willing to pay the SR3,000 cost of the casket.

“The problem is now solved and the body will soon be sent home,” he added. In a similar case, the body of an Indian heavy vehicle driver, who died at the Khamis Mushait General Hospital after being hit by a car, was repatriated home last month.

Thousands of bodies of expatriate workers remain in hospital mortuaries in the Kingdom awaiting repatriation.

Mortuaries in the country received 5,555 bodies of expatriates last year, of which 1,791 bodies were either repatriated or buried while 3,764 are still lying in various hospital morgues, Al-Eqtisadiah daily reported, quoting a forensics department official.

Ali Bawazeer, head of the deceased affairs at the forensics department in Riyadh, said the costs of embalming, which amounts to SR3,000, coffins and air tickets are borne by the sponsors.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on April 10, 2014