PALAKKAD: Suresh Kumar, a native of Nurani, is planning to approach the Ernakulam District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum against Air India for returning his two white pet Persian cats to Saudi Arabia from Nedumbassery airport though he had completely observed all formalities.
Suresh said that he had been working in Saudi Arabia for the past 25 years and planned to return permanently. He had with him two pet cats for the past 7 years and wanted to bring them to India, He consulted Air India Ltd at their office in Saudi Arabia. They agreed to transport the pets from Riyadh to the airport in Kochi. It took 15 days to comply with the formalities for transporting the pets (both of which had microchips) and Air India granted tickets for the pets to fly along with him to Cochin Airport on March 31. He said when he reached Kochi Airport, exit permission was denied to the pets and Air India returned them to Riyadh without his consent.
Suresh pointed out the compliance of the veterinarian requirements alone cost 1,456 Saudi Riyals. He had also discussed with officials at the airport for alternatives so that they could be received in Chennai which was also not permitted. Tickets were also purchased in the name of the cats which he had named ‘Ponna’ and ‘Sundari’.
Suresh said the airport authorities, in spite of appealing to them, failed to listen to the pleas to release the two cats. The Air India officials in Riyadh had said there were doctors in the airport and the cats will be released after scanning and check up. He said the airport authorities in Nedumbassery, on the other hand, told him it was a cumbersome process to clear the release of the cats.
The airport officials also told him they would be held liable if the cats die here and therefore they were sending them back to Saudi. The cats are now in a shop in Riyadh engaged in selling birds and the expense involved has to be footed, according to him