NEW DELHI: Fourteen dead bodies of people belonging to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are lying in Saudi Arabia, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has told the Parliament, debunking the claims that hundreds of bodies of Indians were piling up in Saudi Arabian mortuaries.
Minister of State for External Affairs Gen VK Singh has told this to Rajya Sabha in a written response.
“There are only two dead bodies registered from Andhra Pradesh and five from Telangana with the Embassy of India at Riyadh for which No Objection Certificates (NOCs) have already been issued,” Singh said. He added that four dead bodies belonging to people from Andhra Pradesh and three from Telangana are awaiting formal documents before the Embassy to issue the NOCs.
A bunch of documents need to be submitted to the Indian Embassy before the body can be flown to India. This includes medical and police reports, a letter from the family and a declaration from the Saudi government or the employer in case ‘blood money’ or compensation is being demanded.
According to statistics, nearly ten lakh people from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are employed in Saudi Arabia. The families of the victims have many a times alleged non-cooperation from the Indian Embassy in the country.
“…. The Indian Mission/Consulate in Saudi Arabia provide assistance on a proactive basis from informing the next of kin to facilitating the disposal of mortal remains either by local burial or transportation to India, in coordination with the sponsors. Death documents are attested and other assistance provided even beyond office hours and on holidays,” Singh said while adding that the issues pertaining to death cases are taken up during the bilateral consular meetings from time to time.