He was killed after ship sank off Iranian coast on October 27 last year
The body of Dinesh Kumar, the 25-year-old Indian sailor who was killed when a merchant ship sank off the Iranian coast on October 27 last year, will arrive here on Tuesday afternoon — bringing a sense of closure to his relatives, who have been through a harrowing time trying to get his mortal remains back since news of his death first came to light.
“Since December, I have been waiting for the body to arrive. I am on my way to Delhi, where we will perform the last rites in the capital itself,” said his father Amarnath, who lives in Himachal Pradesh's Palampur district. He had spent his life's savings to send his son abroad for the shipping assignment through an unregistered labour agent.
The body could not be brought to India for several months, caught as it was in Iranian red tape.
However, the fate of the two other Indians onboard the ship, Shab Row, which was believed to have sunk between Kish Island and Bandar Linge, is still unknown.
“I have been running from pillar to post to get some news of my brother. I have been in constant communication with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Iran…There is no more paper work or procedures for me to do…nobody left to talk to. Everything is done, all I can do is to wait,” said 24-year-old Saroj Yadav, whose younger brother Manoj Yadav is still missing as his body has not been found.
“We want to know something…whether he is dead, what exactly happened to him, something…it's like he just disappeared one day,” he added.
The story is similar for Raghubar Choudhury. His younger brother Pavan Kumar Choudhury, who is survived by his wife and two children, is missing as well. “There has been no news at all regarding my brother. There is nothing more for me to do; I have appealed to everybody who could be appealed to,” Mr. Choudhury said, adding that he had written letters to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister also.
A Dubai-based company, Nejoum al-Bahar, owns the ship and had made an announcement regarding the disappearance of the crew members but there was no official announcement from the Iranian government.
None of the families possess copies of the sailor's contract with the company and all their labour agents were unregistered.
The company has allegedly washed its hands of the entire affair and had refused to cooperate with the Indian Embassy in Iran, even refusing to take responsibility for Dinesh's body.
Fate of the other two Indians onboard the same ship is still unknown
Ship company allegedly refused to cooperate with Indian embassy in Iran