Kerala family wages legal battle to get back kin’s body

May 29th, 2009 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Thrissur (Kerala), May 29 (IANS) The family of a nurse who died in Britain more than two months ago is waging a legal battle to get back her body so she can be buried in this Kerala town.
They allege her husband intends to cremate the body in Britain.

Mini Francis, 28, after delivering a baby boy early this year at a hospital here, left for Britain to resume her work as a nurse in a hospital in Salisbury. However, on March 23, her husband informed the family that she had died of septicaemia following an infection.

“We were told that she died of septicaemia after she contracted an infection. Our brother-in-law had informed our relatives in the UK that they can leave to attend the burial which will be held here,” her brother M.P. Jose, a state government employee, told IANS.

But weeks and months passed and the body was not brought here, and her bereaved family lived on assurances from her husband’s Angelo Francis (who also hails from Thrissur), that things were being sorted out for the transportation of the body. At last, Mini’s mother, Lilly Francis approached the Kerala High Court.

“We had no option other than the court because, we were told by our relatives in Britain that our brother-in-law had other intentions and was getting ready to cremate our sister, which is against the traditions of the Church. Luckily for us, the court Wednesday last directed the Ministry of External Affairs to inform the British government, through the British High Commission, to initiate necessary steps to see that the cremation of the body was stopped till June 2,” said Jose.

Meanwhile, the local church here also intervened in the matter and is talking to both the families.

“The whole of Friday, we were talking with the family of our brother-in-law and we have told them them that our demand is that we want the body to be transported here. Once that happens, we will withdraw the case that we have filed. We are now hoping against hope that he (Angelo Francis)brings the body,” said Jose.

Jose said though Angelo and Mini got married in October 2007, they lived together for just three months.

“After the marriage, she returned to the UK and after a few months she took her husband also. He got a job in the same institution as a technician where she worked. After three months, she came here for her delivery,” he added.

Jose also thanked the Malayali community in Salisbury who is reported to have made a collection to see that all the expenses are met for the transportation of the body and also a sum of money for Mini’s child.

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