31,318 Indians Have Died Abroad Since 2014: Govt
Over 10,000 Indians have died in Saudi Arabia since 2014, VK Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs, said.
As many as 31,318 Indians have lost their lives abroad since 2014, and nearly one-third of these deaths were reported at Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Dec. 20 in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.
A total of 10,424 Indians have died in Saudi Arabia since 2014, of which 2,537 were reported in 2017, VK Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs, said. The corresponding number in United Arab Emirates since 2014 is 6,173, while the number of Indians who died in Kuwait in the same period is 2,310.
“Upon receipt of information about death of Indian nationals, including those imprisoned, Indian missions or posts take up the matter with local authorities and also initiate prompt action to facilitate transportation of dead bodies to India,” the statement added.
It added that the missions or posts liaise with employers or sponsors or local authorities to expedite the process, which includes requisite documentation and clearances of local authorities, preparation of the dead bodies for transportation, and obtaining the consent of the family of the deceased for acceptance of the body.
“In cases where the employers are non-cooperative financial assistance is also arranged by our missions or posts from the ICWF (Indian Community Welfare Fund),” the statement said.
A significant number of deaths of Indians has been reported in countries like Bahrain, Canada, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar and the United States.
The statement added that 5,590 Indians were detained in Saudi Arabia, while 1,132 Indians have been detained in Pakistan since 2015.
As soon as information about detention or arrest of an Indian national is received by an Indian mission or post, it gets in touch with the local foreign office and other concerned local authorities to get consular access to the detained or arrested Indian national to confirm nationality and ensure the person’s welfare.
“Government of India provides legal assistance to deserving Indian nationals, including prisoners,” the statement said, adding that it also provides help, advice and guidance, ensuring fair and humane treatment in foreign jails, repatriation to India of those who are released and issuing of emergency certificates wherever required.