UDUPI: After mourning over his daughter’s death for 86 days, father of Hazel Mathias, a nurse from Udupi who died in Saudi Arabia under mysterious circumstances, has decided to find out the exact reasons for her death. “If the need arises, and after consultation with religious leaders, I may give my consent to the authorities to exhume my daughter’s body and probe the case,” Robert Quadras, Hazel’s father, told reporters on Saturday.
He said he has received a death notification from the forensic medicine centre, Al-Baha, signed by Dr Bandar Saleh Al-Zahrani, which stated that the cause of death was “asphyxia through hanging by suspension”. The doctor also concluded that it was a suicide. Robert said another communication from Maj Gen Ali Bin Mohammed Al Hadi, director of Al-Baha district police, Al-Makhwah Governorate, stated that it was “suicide by hanging herself from the stairs over the roof of the hospital’s nursing home.” The same letter mentions that “the physical examination showed no traces of violence or resistance or otherwise”.
Expressing his disapproval over the probe conducted in Saudi Arabia, Robert said it is unusual that the Consulate General of India in Jeddah did not send the postmortem report along with the dead body in September. “We believe that autopsy was conducted in this case as it was an unnatural death,” he said and added that relevant documents like the inquest report, a copy of charge sheet filed by the police and the order copy from the court were also not sent to him.
Robert said he has sought documents such as Hazel’s personal diary, death note written by Hazel, letter of employment, insurance details, charge sheet, inquest report and postmortem report from Sanjay Kumar Sharma, Vice Consul (Labour), Consular General of India, Jeddah. “Considering this as a grave injustice that has been meted out to our family, we will seek further probe into the case,” he added.
President of Human Rights Foundation, Udupi, Ravindranath Shanbhaug, who was appointed nodal officer to bring back Hazel’s body from Saudi Arabia by Udupi Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis, said he will assist the family till justice is delivered.
Shanbhaug said Ibrahim Al Zaheed, whom Hazel had alleged of harassing her, was arrested but was released two days ago. “We want to know on what grounds he was released,” he said. “As a human rights activist, I will take up the legal battle against the Consular General of India, Jeddah, if the authorities do not respond,” he added.