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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Township of Spallumcheen collected an honourable mention in the 2020 UBCM Community Excellence Awards for its sustainable service delivery and water improvment district conversion plan. (Photo submitted)
Spallumcheen water district conversion plan gets recognition

Township collects UBCM Community Excellence Award honourable mention

Spallumcheen councillors (from left) Todd York, Gerry Popoff, Christine LeMaire, John Bakker, Joe Van Tienhoven and Andrew Casson join Mayor Christine Fraser (fourth from left) in helping to proclaim the township open for business with new signage off Highway 97A. (Township of Spallumcheen photo)
Being open for business paying dividends for Spallumcheen

Township wins provincial award, new business and building starts increase

John Pavelich’s 83rd birthday had an added surprise; members of Enderby City Council came by his residence to present him with a Lifetime Civic Merit award Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Enderby resident unwraps Lifetime Civic Merit award on 83rd birthday

John ‘JP’ Pavelich has been a pillar of volunteerism in Enderby since 1967

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Oliver Fire Department had to put out a fire on their own training ground, and it wasn’t one they set. (Facebook)
Vehicles torched at Oliver Fire Department training grounds

This suspected arson comes after the cars were vandalized earlier and suspicious fire the night before

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Tavis Stevenson, son of Pam and Bruce Stevenson, founders of The Book Shop on Main St, is the creator of the whimsical animal farm carts seen above The Book Shop. He also painted the book mural in the back alley behind the shop. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
The Book Shop in downtown Penticton is one of those rare gems

The Book Shop, like so many businesses, is wanting to turn the page to the end of this pandemic

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Mathieu Bourgault (13) tries unsuccessfully to deflect past West Kelowna goalie Johnny Derrick during the Warriors’ come-from-behind 7-6 BC Hockey Leaguje pod shootout victory Saturday, May 8, at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place. (Tami Quan Photography)
West Kelowna Warriors rally to edge Salmon Arm in shootout

Warriors overcome three significant deficits to post 7-6 BCHL pod win in Vernon; Silverbacks finish pod 9-7-2-2

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read