May 23, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Birmingham/London, UK (May 23, 2013): A Birmingham schoolgirl was murdered by health workers in India in a failed attempt to harvest her organs, her devastated parents have claimed. Gurkiren Kaur Loyal’s family said she was being treated for a simple case of dehydration when staff at a clinic gave her a mystery injection which took her life. But her relatives guarded the eight-year-old’s body so that her organs could not be taken in time to be used in transplant operations. They claimed she was subjected to a “medieval” post-mortem examination during which all her major organs were removed in a bid to hide the truth of how she had been killed.
Gurkiren’s family said the Indian police and medical authorities made little attempt to investigate the death.They said they only discovered her organs had been taken when her body was flown home to the UK. Only her eyes remained, they said. The Foreign Office would only confirm that Gurkiren, from Hockley, died in India on April 2.
But Handsworth Wood councillor Narinder Kooner and Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood have united to back her family’s fight for justice – pressing the UK and Indian authorities for answers over the tragedy.
Gurkiren’s mum Amrit Kaur Loyal, a shop worker, said: “My baby was innocent and now I am devastated without her.“Gurkiren was fine, she was chatting to us and planned to buy some gifts for her cousins. While we were talking an assistant came up carrying a pre-filled syringe and reached for the tube in her hand.“I asked what was the injection for, but he gave me a blank look and injected the liquid into her. “Within a split-second Gurkiren’s head flipped back, her eyes rolled in her head, and the colour completely drained from her. I knew they had killed her on the spot. “I knew my innocent child had been murdered.”
Coun Kooner, a friend of Gurkiren’s family, said it was “highly probable” that she had been killed in a bid to harvest her organs. “People with money pay to help their family members,” she said. “We are trying to build a portfolio of other cases.”
Gurkiren, a bright and bubbly pupil at Nishkam School in Soho Road, Handsworth, was on her first foreign holiday visiting her frail grandmother, who later died, over the Easter break. Her family said she was taken to a clinic in Punjab after being sick, but was placed on a drip after blood tests revealed she was free of infection. Under pressure to help the schoolgirl after the injection was given, medics transferred her to a nearby hospital but she could not be saved.
Amrit, who was on the trip with her postal worker husband Santokh Singh Loyal and 17-year-old son Simran, claimed Gurkiren’s medical records were disposed of and the family were not asked to pay for the blood tests, drip or the injection she received. Police took a statement but the family said they obtained no evidence that Gurkiren’s death was investigated. Worse still, Amrit said she was told a post-mortem examination would be required in India before her daughter’s body could be returned to the UK.
Back in Birmingham, Gurkiren’s death sent shockwaves through the community. Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood is working with Birmingham councillor Narinder Kooner, a friend of Gurkiren’s family, to fight for justice.“This is a deeply shocking and devastating tragedy,” Ms Mahmood said. “Gurkiren’s death, and the failure of the Indian authorities and the British High Commission to provide adequate support to the family, has added to their considerable distress – as has the appalling removal of all of her organs. “I have raised this matter urgently with ministers at the Foreign Office seeking their support in ensuring Gurkiren’s organs are returned to her family. “It is imperative that we have the chance to independently establish the cause of death with the authorities in the UK.”
Dal Singh Dhesy, Chairman of Sikh Community & Youth Service UK said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Gurkiren Kaur Loyal’s family at this difficult time, we will be supporting councillor Kooner with her campaign to help bring justice for the family of Gurkiren.
Santokh Singh Bassi, Sikh Community Leader from Birmingham said, “I was very saddened to hear of the death of Gurkiren Kaur Loyal and the terrible experience her family have had to go through since her death.”
The tragedy of Gurkiren Kaur Loyal has again thrown the spotlight on the reportedly “lucrative underground market” in human organs in India. In 2007, Ravindranath Seppan, of the Chennai Doctors’ Association for Social Equality, admitted: “India’s rich are turning to India’s poor to live longer.” He said the commercial trade of human organs remained big business, despite having been banned in 1994.
Anyone wanting to support the campaign should email narinderkaur.kooner (at) birmingham.gov.uk
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