Sarbjeet Kumar, 22, of Bashsherpur village in Jalandhar had planned to gift a watch to his father Bishan Dass, 59, a construction labourer in Abu Dhabi, as his birthday on May 2, but the fate had something else in store for the family as he had to lit his father’s funeral pyre a day before the celebrations.
Dass had gone to Dubai for greener pastures five years ago and was regularly sending money to the family. He was scheduled to visit the family on May 1 as his third daughter Monika’s marriage was due on May 22.
Sarbjeet, the youngest among siblings, said: “My father used to call every day from Dubai but on April 2, his phone was switched off and we thought he might be busy. But when we were not able to get in touch with him over the phone for three days, I requested my uncle Resham to visit my father’s place.”
Resham, who brought Dass’ body from Abu Dhabi, said he contacted the construction company to know Dass’ whereabouts, but to no avail. “I went to the local police station and Indian embassy and filed missing complaint. Later, I circulated his pictures on WhatsApp groups there.”
“On April 20, I received a call that a body is lying in a mortuary since April 5, said Resham, adding that he identified him to be Dass.
Doctors said he died in an accident but injuries on his body belie their claims. His wallet containing 20,000 dirhams, mobile phone, and other documents were missing, said Resham.
“Then I asked for financial help from the company to send the body back to India and visited the embassy repeatedly for asking to make arrangements, but to no avail,” said Resham, adding that he borrowed money to take the body to India.
Dass’ wife Sheela Devi, 55, has urged the ministry of external affairs to help the family get salary and other monetary benefits from the construction company in Abu Dhabi.