After GoI’s snub, Poonch family arranges money for 58 days to bring body of kin from Saudi Arabia

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MS Nazki

Poonch, Sep 27: Fifty-eight days after he was shot dead in Saudi Arabia, body of Zulfikar Ahmad, hailing from this border district, was brought home on Thursday and finally buries.
During these fifty days, his co-workers and family collected funds to arrange for the return of the body as the government of India offered a cold shoulder to distressed families pleas for help.
35-year-old Zulfikar Ahmad, son of Mohammad Iqbal of Keri Gultha, Gursai here was shot dead by a Saudi man on a tiff over some issue at Tareeb area where he was working as labourer on July 31.
His family approached Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia and Ministry of External Affairs, seeking help to bring back the mortal remains to his home.
Ahmad’s uncle Safeer said that the family approached MEA and Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia seeking help to shift the body to his native village. However, the government of India paid no heed to “our pleas”, he said.
“Ultimately, we had to keep the body in a mortuary at the Saudi hospital. It took us fifty-eight days to collect an amount of Rs 392,700 to airlift body to Poonch,” Safeer said.
“What’s more tragic is that Ahmad’s father, who works in Saudi as well, had no time to mourn his loss. Instead, he started collecting donations to bring his son’s body to Poonch for burial,” Safeer added.
Safeer said that Ahmad married last year and he has a one-year-old daughter.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people reached Keri Gultha village on Thursday evening as soon as Ahmad’s body reached home. His funeral prayers were offered around 7:30 p.m. and later the body was lowered into the grave. (GNS)