British Sikh girl's organs back in UK for tests
The organs of a British Sikh girl, who died mysteriously during a visit to India five months ago, have been returned to her birthplace in Birmingham for tests after a long-drawn campaign by her parents.india Updated: Oct 07, 2013 21:39 IST
The organs of a British Sikh girl, who died mysteriously during a visit to India five months ago, have been returned to her birthplace in Birmingham for tests after a long-drawn campaign by her parents.
Gurkiren Kaur Loyal fell ill on a family holiday in Punjab in April. She died while being treated for dehydration at a clinic in Khanna when staff reportedly gave her a mystery injection.
The eight-year-old's parents, Santok Singh and Amrit Kaur, claim her organs were removed during an autopsy in India to cover up the cause of death.
British pathologists were unable to carry out their own post-mortem tests on Gurkiren's body because of the missing organs, including the heart, brain and liver.
Indian authorities had admitted the organs were retained at Government Medical College at Rajendra Hospital in Patiala for post-mortem tests.
But fresh tests to determine how Gurkiren died may be futile as it is thought the organs were embalmed.
Embalming is carried out to avoid the spread of infection, but makes post-mortem tests on them unreliable.
Though Gurkiren's organs were accompanied by an embalming certificate, her family is awaiting confirmation that they were treated.
The family said in a statement: "We have mixed emotions of sadness and relief now we know that, finally, the organs have been returned.
"We still have a fear as to whether they will be Gurkiren's organs and will be requesting a DNA test.
"We hope they have been stored in an appropriate manner so we are able to request a further post-mortem examination and find out what she was injected with." Birmingham councillor Narinder Kaur Kooner, who has been working on behalf of the girl's family, confirmed the organs had arrived at the funeral director.
"The family is very distressed. They had some hope they would finally get answers to their questions. All they want is peace and closure but now they have seen the certificate, they are very distressed," she said.