Dubai: MK Stalin, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, on Monday announced a compensation of Rs1million each to the kin of two expats from the south Indian state who were among the 16 people who died in a horrific fire in a Dubai building on Saturday.
Indian news agencies quoted a statement released by the Tamil Nadu government in this regard.
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“I am deeply saddened to hear the news that both of them died in a fire in their residential area on Saturday,” Stalin said in the statement.
As first reported by Gulf News, Gudu Saliyakoondu, 49, and Imamkasim Abdul Khader, 43, worked for the building that caught fire as watchmen and died while trying to help rescue others.
The families of the victims welcomed the move and expressed their gratitude.
Two brothers of Saliyakoondu, who was known as Rafiq, told Gulf News that they had not expected such a move.
“We did not even think that the news would reach our CM,” said Saliyakoondu’s elder brother Saliga Sahib Gudu Basha.
Another brother, Ali Basha, said they had received the news from their family back home. “The news came on Tamil TV channels first. Our family informed us about it. We are grateful for this gesture from the Chief Minister.”
The brothers said they wanted to thank the Chief Minister for the help.
“Both families are in a financially bad state. This will be of great help to them,” said Basha.
They said both the victims, who hail from the same place, have two daughters and a son each. Abdul Khader had not seen his daughter who was born three months ago. He had planned to go home after Eid holidays, Basha had earlier told Gulf News.
The brothers also thanked the Indian Consulate in Dubai and social worker Naseer Vatanappally for supporting them with the repatriation procedures.
“They have done a great service by speeding up all the procedures. We are immensely thankful to them. We also want to thank the real estate company they worked with for bearing the expenses for the repatriation,” said Ali Basha.
Peer Mohammed, a relative of Abdul Khader, echoed similar sentiments. He will be accompanying the mortal remains of Abdul Khader while Basha would be flying with his brother on his final journey home.
The bodies would be repatriated on a 12.30am flight on Tuesday from Sharjah to Tiruchirappalli.
Kerala couple repatriated
Meanwhile, Vatanappally confirmed that the bodies of an Indian couple, who died in the fire, were repatriated on Sunday night.
The bodies of Rijesh Kalangadan, 38, and his wife Jeshi Kandamangalath were flown to their native place in the south Indian state of Kerala.
Vatanappally said there were emotional scenes when several friends and colleagues went to see the couple for the last time.
The Woodlem Park School in Dubai held a mourning session in her memory on Monday.