Parents of a merchant navy officer from Nagpur who died on board a ship anchored in a port in Saudi Arabia last week have requested the authorities to expedite the repatriation of his mortal remains.
As per the Indian embassy, the process can take three to four weeks, but Rajiv Sharma, father of Luv Sharma, has questioned why it should take so long.
Thirty-five-year-old Luv Sharma, died aboard the ship 'Bahri Bulk' when it was anchored at Dammam on February 24. He was working as chief officer on the ship since November 2018.
"On February 24 I was informed by the ship management that due to an unfortunate incident inside the cargo-hold, Luv collapsed and has been taken to hospital," Rajiv Sharma said.
Three hours later he was informed that Luv had died.
"They (the shipping company) agree that the body shall be repatriated at their cost once all the investigation and formalities at Dammam are completed," he said.
"But the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia informed the Directorate General Shipping that the process may take upto six to eight weeks," he said.
"Investigations can go on. I have no objection. But a dead body will not speak up. It should be sent back to the family after post-mortem. I fail to understand why the body should be detained for such a long period," Mr Sharma said.
Rajiv Sharma said he had approached Union shipping minister Nitin Gadkari's office in Nagpur, requesting the minister's personal intervention.
Mr Gadkari's office got in touch with the DG Shipping and was told that repatriation of the body may take upto even two months, he said.
As per a letter sent by the Indian embassy to DG Shipping, the investigation in such matters takes "considerable time" and the shipping company will dispatch the body after completing all formalities which takes "3-4 weeks".