Swaraj promises help to family whose 3 members died in US car crash

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 17, 2016 23:44 IST
External affairs pinister Sushma Swaraj speaks at a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday. (PTI)

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday government would help a Kalyan-based family in arranging for cremating bodies of its three members killed in a road accident in Long Island in the US.

38-year-old IT professional Chandan Gavai and his parents -- Archana Gavai (60) and Kamalnayan Gavai (74)-- were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in was hit head-on by a truck on July 4. Chandan’s 32-year-old wife suffered life-threatening burns and is in comma. The couple’s 11-month-old son survived the crash and is under treatment.

The Gavai family members in India were finding it difficult to bring back the bodies for cremation due to high expenses involved. Swaraj promised to help the family after she came to know of their difficulty.

Swaraj said India’s consulate general in New York has suggested the family to cremate Chandan’s parents in New York. She said as per US laws, Chandan’s body cannot be cremated as his wife is in coma and unable to give consent.

Swaraj said the consulate general suggested the family that Chandan’s mortal remains be buried as his wife Manisha alone can give consent for his cremation.

Swaraj said the government will help the family get death certificates and insurance money for all the three deceased members. The family hails from Maharashtra.

“Our consulate will bear the expenses for cremation,” Swaraj tweeted, adding “All members of the family who are in US incl. Manisha’s parents are agreeable to this proposal. We hope to resolve this accordingly.

“Burial only till his wife Manisha recovers from coma. Once she gives consent, Chandan will also be cremated.”

Swaraj said one of the family members Anand Gavai wants the money be given to him but it cannot be done as he is a Dutch national. “Under government rules, money cannot be given to a foreign national,” she said.

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