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196 mortal remains of Indians sent home Indian Embassy registers 258 deaths from Jan 1-June 30

KUWAIT CITY, July 5: During the current calendar year from 1 January — 30 June, 2014, the Embassy has registered 258 deaths of Indian nationals in Kuwait. Out of this, 203 Indian nationals died due to natural cause (such as heart attack, sickness, age etc.) and 55 unnatural deaths (16 road accident, 13 work-site accident, 10 suicide, 6 murder, 3 gas inhale, 3 drowning, 2 fire accident, 1 fall from height& 1 unknown reason). The mortal remains of 62 deceased Indian nationals were buried in Kuwait as per the wishes of their family members, whereas, the mortal remains of 196 Indian nationals were sent to India by air.

The Embassy’s efforts are to help in early transport of the mortal remains to India. The procedure followed and time taken is as under:

i) Intimation of death: When an Indian national dies in Kuwait, the Embassy receives the information about the death from the employer/relatives of the deceased. Accordingly, the Embassy issues an authority letter in favour of the informer/relative, for collection of death certificate, police report from the local authorities.

ii) Registration of death: Once death certificate is collected, it has to be endorsed by the local Foreign Office, translated into English and submitted in the Embassy along with the passport of the deceased for registration of death. The Embassy issues death certificate.

iii) Burial of mortal remains: The cremation of mortal remains is not allowed in Kuwait. The local authorities, however, allow permission for burial of mortal remains of Muslims/Non- Muslims in Kuwait. The family members who wish to bury the mortal remains of the deceased are generally advised by the local authority(s) to obtain an authority letter from the Embassy for the burial of the mortal remains in Kuwait. The Embassy issues an authority letter after receiving the written consent of the family members for burial of the mortal remains in Kuwait.

iv) Transportation of mortal remains: After the registration of death, if mortal remains have to be transported to India, the relatives/employer is required to approach the airlines for issue of airway bill for transport of the mortal remains to India. The procedure is simple and not long drawn. The mortal remains of the deceased are sealed in a wooden coffin in the Sabah Hospital only (as per the specifications of the Ministry of Health of the State of Kuwait) in the presence of a medical officer, representative of the Embassy and relatives / friends of the deceased. Thereafter, mortal remains are sent to India by air.

v) Time taken: The time taken for transporting mortal remains depend upon the nature of death and time taken in completing various formalities by Kuwait authorities and the availability of flights to the destination.

a. In case of natural death (such as heart attack, sickness, age etc.), the mortal remains are sent to India generally within two to ten days depending on the time taken by the Kuwait authorities for completing various formalities and availability of flights.

b. In case of unnatural death (such as suicide, drowning, fire, traumatic injury, inhalation of gas, fall from height, work place, criminal activities etc.), the local authorities take considerable time for completion of their investigation into the case and give clearance for transportation of the mortal remains.

In such cases, it generally takes two to four weeks for transportation of the mortal remains from the date of intimation of the death. As disposal of mortal remains other than burial is not allowed in Kuwait, in majority of cases, the mortal remains are transported to India.

In cases of destitute Indian nationals, the Embassy arranges the airlifting of the mortal remains of the deceased to India by Air India (or other airlines) and the expenditure is met from the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF).

vi) Embassy Support: The Embassy guides informants/company on procedural requirements for the repatriation of the mortal remains. During the first half of 2014, the Embassy paid for air transport of the mortal remains of 16 deceased Indian nationals from Kuwait to India, while mortal remains of 180 deceased Indian nationals were sent to India by air by the employers/relatives of the deceased. The Embassy provides air tickets to destitute Indian nationals to return to their homeland, as well as pay for air transportation of mortal remains of destitute Indian nationals to India.

vii) The details: of the deceased Indian nationals, whose mortal remains were airlifted to India, with air transportation provided by the Embassy, are provided for information of Indian community in Kuwait, for the period 1 January — 30 June, 2014.

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