Kuwait inferno: Kerala Cabinet convenes to expedite repatriation of bodies

Most of the Indian victims killed in the Kuwait inferno hail from Kerala.

Updated - June 14, 2024 08:39 am IST

Published - June 13, 2024 10:06 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram: 

The Ambassador of India to Kuwait, Adarsh Swaika, visits Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, where workers injured in the fire have been admitted, in Kuwait on Wednesday, June 12, 2023.

The Ambassador of India to Kuwait, Adarsh Swaika, visits Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, where workers injured in the fire have been admitted, in Kuwait on Wednesday, June 12, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Kerala Cabinet convened at 10 a.m. on June 13 to expedite the process to bring back the bodies of  Keralities killed in the fire that ripped through a labour camp in Kuwait. 

Also Read | Kuwait fire: IAF aircraft carrying mortal remains of 45 Indian victims to land in Kochi early on June 14

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is chairing the meeting. The State Cabinet will weigh means to rush relief for Keralites under treatment for burn and fall injuries in various hospitals in Kuwait.

Kuwait fire | Video Credit: The Hindu

The government is in touch with the Malayalee diaspora in Kuwait. The cabinet might weigh sending a government representative to Kuwait to coordinate with the Indian Embassy officials. 

Kuwait fire LIVE updates: India’s mission in touch with Kuwaiti authorities to provide relief 

The Cabinet will also declare compensation for the victims’  families.

So far, eleven workers from Kerala have perished in the fire. Officials have tentatively identified seven of them.  They are Sajan George, Shameer, and Lukose, all from Kollam district, Muraleedharan (Pathanamthitta), Akash Sasidharan Nair (Pandalam), Saju Varghese (Konni), Abraham Sabu. (Kottayam). They expect the death toll to go up, given the severe nature of the injuries of several persons under treatment. 

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs, George Kurian, told a news channel in New Delhi that the Indian Embassy was in touch with the Kuwait authorities to expedite the identification of the bodies of those killed in the Kuwait fire. He said DNA matching of unidentifiable bodies might be a time-consuming process. 

He said the Centre was in touch with the Kerala government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a preliminary ex gratia payment of ₹2 lakh for the victims’ families. 

Mr. Kurian said the central government had tasked Indian Embassy officials in Kuwait with ensuring that people who sustained burn and fall injuries in the blaze received the best medical care. 

NoRKA-Roots sets up help desk

The NoRKA-Roots, the field agency of the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NoRKA), has set up a help desk following the fire tragedy in Kuwait. The non-resident Keralites can contact NoRKA Global Contact Center 24-hour toll-free numbers 1800 425 3939 (from India) +91-8802 012 345 (from abroad, missed call service). Information is also available at following numbers.

Anup Mangat - +965 90039594

Bijoy - +965 66893942

Richie K George - - +965 60615153

Anil Kumar - +965 66015200

Thomas Shelvan - +965 51714124

Ranjith - +965 55575492

Naveen - +965 99861103

Ansari - +965 60311882

Jins Thomas - +965 65589453,

Sugathan - +965 55464554,

J. Saji - + 965 99122984.

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