NAT Sunjay Sudhir Ambassador-1643724921385
Sunjay Sudhir, India's Ambassador to the UAE, during the media briefing in Abu Dhabi today. Image Credit: Samihah Zaman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Family members of the two Indian expatriates, Hardev Singh and Hardeep Singh, who were killed in the January 17 Houthi terrorist attacks on the UAE, will be provided employment at ADNOC, the company where the victims were employed, Sunjay Sudhir, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said here today.

In addition, ADNOC has accelerated the distribution of service benefits and salary compensation to the victims’ families, Sudhir said during a press briefing. The company will also support the education of the children of the deceased.

The mortal remains of the two deceased expats have already been repatriated to their home towns in Punjab, India.

Meanwhile, the two individuals who sustained injuries — Ramadan Rath and Ram Singh Sarvanan — have been discharged from hospital after receiving treatment and one has already resumed work, the official confirmed.

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“India is deeply grateful for the concern and support received from the UAE’s leadership and ADNOC for the families of the two Indians killed and the two Indians who were injured in the terror attacks on the UAE on January 17. Through Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Group Chief Executive Officer of ADNOC, I have received direct assurance of full support to the families of the victims from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces,” Sudhir said.

Support for families

Sudhir added that Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, called Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar soon after the attack and “conveyed the deepest condolences of the UAE Government on the death of the two Indians”.

Meanwhile, ADNOC covered all repatriations costs for the two deceased Indians Hardev Singh and Hardeep Singh, as well as travel costs for family members to transport their remains.

Hardev Singh had been working in the UAE since 2018. Among other family members, he leaves behind a wife and a four-year-old, whose education costs will be covered by ADNOC. Hardeep Singh, the other victim, was newly married. He had been in the UAE since 2019. Both men were employed as drivers, and their families will receive the end-of-service benefits and salary compensation.

“The Embassy is in direct contact with next of kin [of the deceased], who are still in the pall of gloom. The mechanism [of compensation] will be decided by ADNOC, the individual’s family and the Indian Embassy. We will develop a mechanism that is most effective [for the purpose] and optimal,” Sudhir said. He did not provide a figure for the amount of compensation that will be extended.

“I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Dr Al Jaber for his close follow-up and engagement with myself and the families of the deceased,” he added.

Caring for the injured

ADNOC has also provided medical support for the two injured Indians, one of whom is a driver.

“Their injuries have been addressed and their jobs are secure. For any employer to be responsible is very important, and [ADNOC’s efforts] are an illustration to other employers about employee and employer relations,” Sudhir said.

Message for expats

Sudhir also called upon Indian expats in the UAE to continue to work with the same dedication they have always displayed.

“The UAE remains one of the most secure countries in the world. [The Indian community should not be] distracted, and they should continue to work with the same dedication as they have always done in the past,” the ambassador said.

Third victim

Apart from the two Indians, one Pakistani national was also killed in the January 17 attack that led to a fire, and the explosion of three petroleum tankers in ICAD 3, Mussafah, close to ADNOC’s storage tanks.