Amrinder Singh’s remains were supposed to be flown home last week from British Columbia to India to be laid to rest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bimaljeet Kaur Kaler

Amrinder Singh’s remains were supposed to be flown home last week from British Columbia to India to be laid to rest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bimaljeet Kaur Kaler

Flight cancellations to India delay shipment of B.C. man’s body back to his family

Amrinder Singh, 29, had been in Canada for a few months when he died on April 5

The body of a man that was supposed to be flown home to India from British Columbia just before the federal government stopped flights is now in limbo as his family scrambles to get the remains home.

Amrinder Singh, who was 29 years old, died April 5 and his family doesn’t know the cause of death.

Bimaljeet Kaur Kaler said her cousin’s body was taken to the airport for an early morning flight on April 23 to New Delhi and then on to Punjab.

“The paperwork was completed, and the body was with the airline,” Kaler said.

However, the federal government had cut off all commercial and private passenger flights arriving in Canada hours earlier as COVID-19 cases surged in India.

The body was driven back to the funeral home.

“We were devastated,” Kaler said.

Singh had been in Canada for about three months and was living in Abbotsford with Kaler before he died.

His family in India had started preparations for his last rites according to religious ritual, which had to be cancelled, she said.

They have now made arrangements for his remains to be sent on another airline on Saturday, and it is scheduled to reach Punjab in the middle of next week.

“It’s a very long route,” Kaler said.

If all goes as planned, the body will arrive in Punjab a month after Singh died.

She understands the need to stop flights to help curb the spread of COVID-19, but the government should have given people a few days to get their affairs in order, she said.

Kaler described her cousin as cheerful, kind and a hard-working person who always had a smile.

He had been in Canada for three months, working in a Langley hotel, in the hopes of bringing his young family over from India to build a better life.

He leaves behind a wife and two daughters, who are seven and four years old.

He came to Canada to give his family a better life, Kaler said. He had been working in a Langley hotel, she said.

“He wanted to do everything for the kids like everybody else, but maybe destiny held something else for him.”

The family is in shock, she said.

“Maybe because it’s human nature, his wife will believe he’s gone once she sees the body,” Kaler said.

“The only thing right now is that they just want to see him for the last time.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusIndia

Just Posted

The former St. Joseph’s School converted to the St. Joseph’s Art Studios in 2019. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Former Chemainus St. Joseph’s School site sold to addictions recovery group

Diocese stresses the importance of a community outreach option in its decision

The bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District is working with several Vancouver Island art councils on the Digitial Innovation Group to improve digital skills for Island artists. (Submitted photo)
Digital Innovation Group supports digital literacy for Island artists

The goal is to leverage digital skills to promote Vancouver Island as an ‘arts powerhouse’

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

Emergency service vehicles respond to motor vehicle incident at Highway 1 and 1st Avenue in Ladysmith. (Submitted photo)
Truck hits person using mobility scooter at northern entrance of Ladysmith

One patient was transported to hospital in stable condition

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(PQB News file photo)
RCMP on the hunt for serial Rathtrevor Beach flasher

Two separate incidents noted at provincial park on April 30 and May 14

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Protesters seen here rallying against the injunction order on April 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP enforce injunction at Fairy Creek logging blockade near Port Renfrew

Protesters can remain but police will ensure open access for loggers

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for second run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces on the same day

Conservation Service Officer Kyle Bueckert holds a gold eagle that was revived from acute rodent poisoning Monday, May 12. Photo: Submitted
‘Obviously, he’s a fighter’: Golden eagle, recovered from poisoning, back in Kootenay wild

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

Most Read