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

(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of May 3

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Fraser Health adds 4 first-come-first-serve vaccination clinics to Surrey

First 1,000 people to show up to receive vaccine

(Delta Police Department photo)
South Delta crime beat, week of May 3

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

(Clockwise, from top-left) Brenda DeJong, Carol Jones, Marcia Strang, Cathy Collis and Mark East star in the upcoming Sidekick Players Zoom presentation of the Norm Foster play “Halfway There,” directed by Carroll Lefebvre, on May 22, 2021. (Submitted photos)
Delta’s Sidekick Players continue ‘Foster Zoom Fest’ with ‘Halfway There’

Tsawwassen-based theatre company hosting another online performance on Saturday, May 22

The leadership team at Johnston Heights Secondary is looking to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society through the Relay for Life, planned as an online and in-person event (following COVID-19 restrictions) for the week of June 1 to 7.
Pushed back a year, Surrey students well on their way to Relay for Life fundraising goal

Johnston Heights Leadership Team aims to raise $6,500 for Canadian Cancer Society

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

B.C. Wildfire Services shows a fire on Chehalis Forest Service Road as of Sunday, May 16, 2021. (BC Fire Services)
Wildfire near Harrison Mills grows to 3 hectares, BC Fire Service on site

Resident near wildfire: ‘I pray that the Creator brings rain as soon as possible’

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 16

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Most Read