Family awaits body three weeks after man's death.
Arogya Swamy Messiah, a 39-year-old fork lift operator, was suffering from jaundice and died of a heart attack on July 5, but his body is yet to be released by the authorities as he owed diya money to an accident victim's family, said Gladson Pereira, Parish Counselor at the St Michael's Church in Sharjah.
He said: "We are given to understand that an accident occurred nine and a half years ago when Messiah was working with a transport company."
A pick-up driver had died during offloading, he said, adding that Messiah served time in jail but was released on the condition that he would pay Dh150,000 to the victim's family. His passport was in the custody of the traffic court.
Pareira said over the years, however, Messiah was unable to cough up the huge amount. He had been rendered jobless and homeless and was surviving on the charity of well-wishers and friends.
"Early this month, we were informed about his death. When his family went about the formalities to get a death certificate and arrange for the repatriation of his body, it emerged that he had a case pending against him.
"His parents are aged and are waiting for the body to be released," he said.
Justin, a relative of Messiah in Sharjah, said: "The family does not have the means to raise such a huge amount."
"We are in talks with the authorities to see how best this can be resolved and get the body repatriated," said Pereira.
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