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Embassy rejects reports of being unhelpful

The Indian embassy in Washington says that it got into action as soon as the news of Mahesh Subramanian's death at Kentucky was brought to its attention.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2008 11:42 IST

Rejecting reports that it had not been helpful over the death of a student from Bangalore in Kentucky, the Indian embassy in Washington has said that it got into action as soon as the news was brought to its attention and made arrangements for handing over of the body to relatives.

Detailing the steps it took, the mission said it received information about the death of 20-year-old Mahesh Subramanian on January 21 through Vijaya of East West Travels, who was approached by his relatives in Cincinnati to seek assistance from the embassy.

Subramanian, a student of Northern Kentucky University, was doing the final semester in Bachelor in Science course when he was found dead in his Hidden Valley Apartment complex at Kentucky on January 19.

The embassy said it established contact with Subramanian's relatives on January 21 itself. The following Day, it said, it got in touch with the Evance Funeral Home and again on January 25, conveying the details of the documents required for facilitating the dispatch of the body to Bangalore.

The Funeral Home, however, could send the documents by FEDEX only on January 30 as they were waiting for the post-mortem report/death certificate and after receiving the papers in the embassy, they were duly processed and returned on January 31 to the Funeral Home by FEDEX. To expedite arrangements, one set of the documents was simultaneously faxed to the Funeral Home.

On receipt of these documents, the Funeral Home, made air bookings. The body left by a Delta flight from CVG Airport, Cincinnati, on February 4 evening and reached Bangalore on February 7 around noon via Paris on board an Air France flight, the embassy maintained while rejecting media reports in India that it had not been helpful.

The embassy also pursued with the Campbell County Coroner Dr Mark Schweitzer on media reports in India that certain body parts of Subramanian were missing, a senior official told PTI.

The Coroner told embassy officials that at the time of the post-mortem all parts of the body were in order.
Senior University officials, including the Chief of Public Safety, and the Coroner's Office said the cause of the death of the Indian student is still undetermined and would have to wait for the autopsy report which is expected in six weeks time.

"There is no update on the matter at this time," said Chris Cole, the Head of Media Relations of Northern Kentucky University.

The University has some 15,000 students attending the campus and the number of Indians is put at 18 as of last Fall semester.