Konni: The family of an expatriate who died in Saudi Arabia was shocked to see that the body flown back to them was that of a woman. The mix-up was realised only minutes before the burial.
Rafeek, 29, from Kummannur near Konni died of a heart attack in Saudi Arabia on February 27. The family and friends of the deceased had been trying hard to fly the body back home for burial.
The embalmed body was received at the Kummannur masjid on Wednesday evening for prayers. Razak, the father of the deceased, said when they opened the coffin just before the burial on Thursday morning, they found that it was of a woman and immediately informed police.
Konni Circle Inspector told PTI the mix-up could have occurred at the cargo section of an airport in Saudi Arabia.
"Rafeeq's body has reached Sri Lanka. We got a call from there and the caller said the body at Konni is that of Bendara Maneki, a Lankan woman," he said.
The woman's body was brought to the Kochi airport on March 20 and taken to the couple's residence here.
"We have requested the RDO to send the woman's body to her country and bring Rafeeq's remains to Kerala," the official said.
The woman's body has been shifted to Kottayam Medical College Hospital.
The mourning family has asked for immediate action to get the body back.
Rafeek has been working in Saudi Arabia for several years. He has a wife and a child. His wife is expecting a second child, his mother said.
The body of the Sri Lankan woman was shifted to the Kottayam Medical College mortuary.