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

Coldstream Fire Department was quick to arrive and knock down a fire Sunday, May 16, in a Matner Lane orchard just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Coldstream fire crews quick to knock down blaze

Fire broke out just before 2:30 p.m. on Matner Lane, which is just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road

Crews battled a grass fire behind the Tolko mill along the railway tracks off Otter Lake Cross Road in Spallumcheen Monday, April 26. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star file)
Reports of man lighting Vernon fires with blowtorch

Grassfires sparked near train tracks, behind bottle depot

Frame Custom Homes, based in Kelowna, won top prize, design Excellence, at the Canadian Home Builders' Association's 2021 digital gala May 7, 2021, and best detached custom home over 5,000 square feet for Lakeside Haven in Vernon. (Contributed)
Builder’s custom Kelowna, Vernon homes win national prize

4 bed, 6 bath Vernon home complete with pool, putting green and elevator a Lakeside Haven

A number of undercover RCMP vehicles were spotted at a residence off Westside Road the morning of Tuesday, May 18. (Contributed)
UPDATE: One in custody following Westside firearm standoff

There is no longer a risk to the public but RCMP remain on scene

Christie Tujik (clockwise), Philipp Gruner, Julie Melanson and Jenelle Brewer are vying for a seat on the Vernon School Board. (Contributed)
Vernon school trustee candidates face off in forum

Voters in Vernon, BX and Silver Star can join May 18 virtual meeting

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

WorkSafe BC is out in the Interior making sure wineries, cideries and breweries are adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols. (File photo)
WorkSafe visiting Interior wineries, cideries and breweries ahead of tourist tasting season

40 field inspections and 35 consultations are expected over next few weeks

B.C. RCMP released these two photos of Erick Fryer (left) and Carlo Fryer (right). The two brothers from Kamloops were found dead near a remote road in Naramata May 10, 2021. (RCMP photo)
Slain Kamloops brothers found near Penticton not likely connected to recent B.C. gang wars: RCMP

Police confirm the bodies found near Naramata as Erick Fryer, 29, and Carlo Fryer, 31

Several RCMP cruisers stationed out front of Kelowna’s Global Fitness following a shooting on the morning of Monday, March 29. The shooting was later revealed to be gang-related. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
B.C.’s top gangs are operating in Kelowna: RCMP

‘We have all of the major gangs in Kelowna,’ said Supt. Kara Triance

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News file)
Kelowna RCMP promotion process tainted with bias: federal judge

An officer was passed over for a promotion in 2015

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes consume popular ‘Locks of Love’ fence on B.C.’s Pacific Rim

Popular view spot near Tofino plagued by people hanging masks and other unwanted garbage

Most Read