Dead Dubai Indian doctor's 'estranged' wife traced

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Dubai, Feb 1(UNI) The Indian consulate here was able to successfully trace the widow of Indian doctor Rasamchetty Venkat Rao, who was found dead in a restaurant in November last year here.

The funeral service of long-time Dubai resident Rao, who is credited to have introduced electronic outdoor advertising in the emirates, is likely to be performed as soon as the Indian consulate officials here have the necessary permission from Rao's surviving widow Rajkumari, in Bangalore.

''Immediately after being informed of this tragic case three days ago, we took the initiative to try and trace his friends and relatives both here and in India, '' the Indian Consulate spokesperson BS Mubarak told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

''We were also able to trace and contact Rao's local sponsor who had a spare key of his studio-flat in Dubai and offered to allow us and Dubai Police officials to inspect the premises,'' added the consulate official.

Two officials from the Indian consulate accompanied Dubai Police officials to Dr Rao's flat in Deira and recovered his Indian passport, a personal diary, and some bank remittance vouchers which had a name and telephone number mentioned on it.

On contacting the telephone number mentioned in the bank remittance voucher, the Indian Consulate officials were able to establish contact with Dr Rao's mother-in-law in Bangalore. The latter confirmed that although Rao had visited Bangalore in October last year, his relations with his wife (Rajkumari) were rather estranged for some time.

However, the Indian Consulate has informed Rao's wife and also his mother-in-law that they must send an official letter at the earliest, advising whether they would like his body to be repatriated, or else cremated here in Dubai.

''Only after we have this letter, we will approach the local authorities and the Dubai Police to make all necessary arrangements as advised,'' said Mr Mubarak.

''In case the cremation ceremony has to be carried out here, a death certificate will first have to be procured by the local Ministry of Health. Permission will also have to be procured by the Dubai municipal authorities for a local cremation,'' he said.

''All this would be done and all procedural formalities completed as soon as we have the letter. We are now waiting for the letter from Rajkumari, the legal heir of Rao,'' added the Indian consulate official.

Rao's body, it may be recalled, had been lying unclaimed in the local police morgue following his death due to a cardiac arrest while waiting to be served at a restaurant in November last year.

UNI XC SZ VC1012

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