Buried Indian body exhumed in Saudi Arabia to send home for last Hindu rituals

Buried Indian body exhumed in Saudi Arabia to send home for last Hindu rituals

Palanisamy's body is expected to repatriate soon to India, according to Indian community welfare officials.

In one of the rare cases, an NRI worker’s dead body was exhumed from a graveyard in Saudi Arabia where it was buried mistakenly two months ago and Indian officials are working to repatriate it back home to India for last rites according to the Hindu family tradition.

42-year-old Andithamy Palanisamy, native of Madurai district of Tamil Nadu, who was working in a maintenance had died of cardiac arrest on May 19 in desert town of Majmah nearby Riyadh.

Vedatchi, wife of deceased has requested to repatriate dead body of her husband, accordingly she sent notarized letter to the Indian embassy in Riyadh, based on the request embassy has issued NOC, a mandatory document in death cases of expatriates in abroad, for transportation of mortal remains of Palanisamy to India on June 14.

The mortal remains of transportation or burial of foreign employees is the responsibility of employers in Saudi Arabia and the rest of Gulf countries. However, instead of sending Palanisamy’s body to India, it was hastily buried in Shaqra cemetery on June 16.

Buried Indian body exhumed in Saudi Arabia to send home for last Hindu rituals
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The distraught family in Tamil Nadu came to know about the burial the following day and immediately approached the Indian embassy with a plea to exhume the body and send it back to home.

The Indian embassy officials worked for over two months with different official entities to exhume the body, finally it was dug up and shifted to Riyadh city on Saturday.

Palanisamy's body is expected to repatriate soon to India, according to Indian community welfare officials.

Last year also, Himachal Pradesh driver, Sanjeev Kumar death in Jizan province caught attention after his wife moved the Delhi High Court seeking help to retrieve her husband’s mortal remains and claimed that he was wrongly buried in Saudi Arabia and the issue came up for discussion in the state assembly.

According to Hindu religious traditions, from birth until death, Hindu rituals define the life of a person. Each important event in his or her life is marked by a ritual.

Antima samskara is the last samskara which is to be performed after the person dies. It is mandatory to do the last rites of the person who dies so that their Atma (Soul) attains Peace by Moksham.

Death marks the final sacrificial ritual (antyeshti) in the life of a person upon earth in which the body is consigned to the flames as an offering to Agni.

The bereaved families of many of Hindu workers, who died, anxiously wait to receive the dead bodies of their loved ones for longer months, in some cases a year to complete Antima samskara also known as Karma Kanda.

As some poor workers ran away from employers and became entangled in legal issues that hamper the repatriation process thus causing delay in Karma Kanda.

The tragic irony is that families, most of them poor and poverty ridden, had to pass through extreme hardship owing to social norms in the countryside until Karma Kanda rituals were performed. The immediate family members can’t step out and are not allowed to attend any function and celebration, not even trimming hair.

When a widowed woman was not able to step out for work she was deprived of daily wage thus her younger children face hunger.

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