Thiruvananthapuram: A Keralite in Saudi Arabia who had to miss his daughter’s wedding in the state last year, has had to miss her funeral, too, on Sunday, owing to travel restrictions in the wake of Covid-19.
His daughter Sumayya, 20 – who was seven months pregnant – and son-in-law Haneefa, 28, died in a car-truck smash in the early hours of Sunday along with Haneefa’s 18-year-old brother Shahjahan.
Sumayya’s father, Saudi-based Kulamakkal Mannarthottam Ismail’s pain was compounded by the fact that Tuesday, March 17 marked the first wedding anniversary of Haneef and Sumayya.
Last week, a youth from Kerala who rushed from Doha hearing that his father had a crippling fall from bed at night and was admitted at the Kottayam Medical College in serious condition, had to miss seeing his father, and later also miss the funeral, owing to Covid fears.
The youth had voluntarily decided to be in medical isolation, and stayed away even from the funeral in order not to put his family and others at risk. However, later tests showed him not infected by coronavirus.
Haneefa and Sumayya were based in Malappuram and were on their way to Sumayya’s house in Mundakayam when their car crashed into a truck at around 3.30am on Sunday. Sumayya was being taken to her home ahead of her delivery, as part of a tradition in Kerala.
The accident happened at Pulluvazhy near Muvattupuzha on the Main Central Road. Motor Vehicle Department officials said the car had veered to the right and hit the truck. Officials suspect that the person who drove the car had slept at the wheel.
When Haneefa and Sumayya were married on March 17, 2019, Ismail could not make it to the wedding from Saudi Arabia. At that time he was new in his job and could not take leave. This time, Covid-related travel restrictions prevented him from going to India.
Sumayya’s mother Zakkina and other family members were alerted about the mishap when a police official called them early on Sunday morning. The family had been excitedly awaiting arrival of their daughter, and readying a traditional feast, when the horrific news came.