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Minister Flays Mission After Indian’s Death in Maldive

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi critized the Indian diplomatic missions for being insensitive// to the problems of the Indians living there. His rebuke came in response to the death of a Kerala man who died in the Maldives due to meningitis.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi Tuesday expressed the hope that Indian diplomatic missions would be more sensitive to problems of Indians, after a Kerala man who suffered from meningitis died in the Maldives.

The minister's comments came after the family of V.M. Sumesh said the Indian high commission in Male was to blame for the death of their son, who worked with Equado Investment Pvt Ltd in Maldives.

According to the family, the Indian mission did not take immediate steps to send back Sumesh to Kerala for better treatment and were lethargic in responding even to the ministry's requests to do the needful.

Minister Ravi told IANS: "I think this incident should be a lesson for all our missions abroad. Our irresponsibility or inaction should not lead to such tragedies."

Sumesh, who went to the Maldives in May 2006, was suffering from meningitis and was in hospital for more than a week. He died Sunday evening.

According to official sources, the Indian mission did not do enough to help Sumesh.

"After Sumesh's father sent a request to the minister through (Kerala) Rajya Sabha MP K. Chandran Pillai, our office made several calls to the mission requesting them to enquire about him. But we did not receive any response from them," the official, who did not want to be identified, told IANS.

The mission did not react to minister's fax message sent Friday either.

"The mission people did not even know that he had died. When the minister called them Monday morning, they told him they would go and check how the patient is," the official said.

He added: "Both Sumesh's family and the MP are very a
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