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

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Island First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Mom still hopeful for Island man who left care six months ago, hasn’t been seen since

Support from community, police keeps search alive for Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
Island First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

“We need to get to the root of what is actually happening with the RCMP and our communities”

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

Police stopped, then let go this man and his large collection of cans during a stop Monday morning on Resthaven Drive. Police had received a report of a possible theft, but let him go after he had returned the property, which he believed was his to take after being left out in public. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Precarious cartload balancing act of ‘put out’ goods draws raised eyebrows in Sidney

Police determined goods were not left out for anyone to take, property returned

Business founder Jeff Ross stands outside his shop Gold Silver Guy in Qualicum Beach on May 10, 2021. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Qualicum Beach store owner finds shop in shambles after early morning robbery

RCMP investigating after door smashed, showcases shattered and inventory stolen

Victoria Police Department looks to identify a person of interest after a Friday night stabbing. (VicPD handout)
Victoria stabbing leaves man with potentially life-altering injuries

Friday night assault has police looking for help in identifying a suspect

Daniel Foster, last seen in downtown Parksville on Saturday, May 1. (submitted photo)
RCMP seek help locating missing Victoria man, last spotted in Parksville on May 1

Daniel Foster, 43, seen via surveillance camera using an ATM

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a 57-year-old woman who missed a work appointment and has not been seen since May 3. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: RCMP say Nanaimo woman who hadn’t been seen in a week is safe and sound

Tracy Ferguson, 57, had been away from the boat where she resides on Stewart Avenue

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Most Read