NEW DELHI: The Qatar government has assured India that the demand for crematorium facilities for the migrant Sikhs and Hindus settled there would be considered favourably in keeping with their religious sentiments.
Presently, these communities are not allowed to perform the last rites according to their religious practice as they are against the local custom of burial. Also facilities for the Hindus and Sikhs are not available there.
A senior Union Home Ministry official dealing with international cooperation said the issue was raised in detail with Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani who visited India recently.
He said out of over 24 lakh population in Qatar, a significant 6.3 lakh were Indians including Sikhs and Hindus. The issue of establishment of Indian schools was also taken up during Thani’s visit. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had called on Thani during the visit and raised the issue concerning the Indians settled in Qatar, the official added.
Thani was on a two-day official visit to India from December 2-3. Thani assured the Indian leadership that the demand would be looked favourably and a decision will be taken soon. Cross-section of people had sought such facilities there when PM Narendra Modi had visited Qatar in June 2016 where the issue of crematoriums was raised before him.
Last year, some Lok Sabha MPs had raised the issue of Indians in the Middle East countries not being able to perform cremation as per the Hindu tradition.