Connect with us
Vikas Swarup Vikas Swarup

Middle East

Centre denies 150 Indians’ bodies lying in Saudi Arabia

Published

on

New Delhi, Dec 23 : The government on Friday dismissed as “factually misleading” a media report that the bodies of 150 persons from Telengana and Andhra Pradesh are lying in Saudi Arabia mortuaries and the bereaved families were unable to bring these home for the last rites since the Indian embassy was not helping.

“This report is completely factually misleading,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said at his weekly media briefing here.

“The report refers to 150 bodies from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In reality, there are only about 10 cases that pertain to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,” Swarup said.

He also explained the role of the embassy after the death of an Indian and the complicated procedure in the Saudi kingdom for repatriation of bodies.

Stating that there were two million expatriate Indians in Saudi Arabia, the spokesperson said that three to four death cases were registered every day on account of natural reasons.

“Most cases are ‘clear’ cases in which, as per the local norms, it takes around three weeks to send mortal remains even if the documents are in order,” he said.

“In cases of unnatural death, like suicide, murder and industrial accident, and also in those cases wherein the families doubt the circumstances of death, the investigation procedure is very lengthy, causing delay in completion of documentation or transportation of mortal remains.”

Swarup said that in some cases, the families demanded release of compensation first before the dispatch of a body “whereas compensation is a legal process and takes a year”.

“In other cases of delay, DNA samples from the families back home are needed to identify the body and complete the local procedures,” he said.

Stating that at any given time, there would be a number of cases of all categories being processed, the spokesperson said that the Indian embassy proactively followed all death cases on top priority.

“In fact, NOCs (no objection certificates) are issued by the embassy on 24×7 basis,” Swarup said.

“In the Kafala system (sponsorship) being followed in Saudi Arabia, it is the responsibility of the sponsor to complete the paper-work and dispatch the mortal remains to India. Despite this legal position, the embassy steps in wherever there are delays in the transportation of mortal remains.”

Most Indians in Saudi Arabia are blue-collar workers.

Middle East

Gaza protests : 4 killed, 618 injured

Eyewitnesses said Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at journalists and TV crew in eastern Gaza. Palestinian demonstrators brought down an Israeli drone carrying a camera used to film demonstrators in eastern Gaza City.

Published

on

Gaza protests

Jerusalem, June 9 (IANS) Four Palestinian protesters were killed and 618 others wounded by Israeli soldiers on Friday during clashes near the Israel-Gaza border, officials said.

Ashraf al-Qedra, the Health Ministry spokesman in Gaza, said Zeyad al-Briem, 25, and Haytham al-Jammal, 15, were killed in east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, while Emad Darabieh, 26, was shot dead in east of Jabalia in northern Gaza.

Meanwhile, Yousef al-Faseeh, 29, was killed in east of Gaza City, Xinhua reported.

Among the injured Palestinians, 117 were hit with live gunshots, 60 with tear gas inhalation, and 77 by bullets shrapnels or tear gas canisters, said al-Qedra.

The clashes, which broke out on Friday afternoon, were part of the 11th Friday “Great March of Return” held by Palestinians in Gaza since March 30. More than 120 Palestinians have been killed so far.

Related image

The Palestinian organisers called the latest rally “the Friday of the One-million-men March for Jerusalem”.

Local media reported that thousands of Palestinian demonstrators joined the protests at five different spots in eastern Gaza.

Hundreds of kites carrying Molotov cocktails flown by demonstrators landed on Israeli agricultural fields and caused large fires.

Eyewitnesses said Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at journalists and TV crew in eastern Gaza. Palestinian demonstrators brought down an Israeli drone carrying a camera used to film demonstrators in eastern Gaza City.

Five journalists were injured, including AFP photographer Mohamed al-Baba, who was shot in his right foot, and a cameraman working for the al-Aqsa Radio of Hamas, who was hit with a tear gas canister in his back, the Health Ministry in Gaza said.

The Ministry also accused Israeli soldiers of firing tear gas at the medical workers who were treating the injured protesters.

Continue Reading

Middle East

Israel begins building marine barrier with Gaza

Israel claims Hamas constructs these tunnels to attack Israeli civilians.

Published

on

Avigdor Liberman

Jerusalem, May 28 (IANS) Israel’s Defence Minister on Sunday announced that construction had begun on a marine barrier with the Gaza Strip extending into the Mediterranean Sea.

Avigdor Liberman said in a statement that the barrier aimed to prevent any attempts by Palestinians in Gaza to enter Israeli territory through the sea, Efe news reported.

“This is an additional setback for Hamas, which has lost another strategic capability that it has invested massive amounts in developing. We will continue to protect the citizens of Israel with might and sophistication,” Liberman said.

The barrier is to consist of three layers, one of which is to be underwater, and is expected to be completed within a year, the statement added.

During Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, members of the military wing of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that governs the Gaza Strip, managed to swim to Israeli territory and launch an attack on a Israeli army installation before being killed.

Israeli authorities are also constructing an underground barrier beneath the Gaza-Israel boundary to stop Hamas from digging tunnels into Israeli territory.

Israel claims Hamas constructs these tunnels to attack Israeli civilians.

An independent inquiry into the 2014 war in Gaza by the UN Human Rights Council concluded that “the tunnels were only used to conduct attacks directed at IDF (Israeli army) positions in Israel in the vicinity of the Green Line, which are legitimate military targets.”

Continue Reading

Middle East

US drone strikes kill 11 IS militants in Afghanistan

The drone strikes were launched on Sunday. Two IS militants were also wounded and three vehicles were destroyed after the raids.

Published

on

drone-strike

Kabul, May 28 : At least 11 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed after US and NATO-led coalition forces launched airstrikes in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, authorities said on Monday.

“The drone strikes were launched on Sunday. Two IS militants were also wounded and three vehicles were destroyed after the raids,” an Army statement said.

Also on Sunday, Afghan Army helicopters struck and destroyed two heroin factories in Khogyani district, reports Xinhua news agency.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular