The mystery surrounding the identity of a woman caregiver, who died in Israel last month after allegedly entering the country on a forged Indian passport, was resolved with her Nepalese parents coming forward to claim her body.
Jamuna Thapa entered Israel as Neha Sharma on the Indian passport number L637541 issued in Merabil in Assam’s Udalguri district. She was brought to Samson Assuta Ashdod Hospital in an unconscious state after an asthma attack on November 22 and was declared brain dead on November 26.
A hospital document that sought “permission that her organs be donated to help those in need” has led to some controversy over the role and handling of the case by the hospital for which the health ministry is said to have “admitted that the hospital was at fault” in the whole episode for not following the laid down procedures.
The Indian embassy in Tel Aviv swung into action the moment the news of the death of an Indian national was brought to its attention. The hospital officials realised that they had not followed procedures properly by not bringing the issue to the notice of Indian authorities as the caregiver was registered as an Indian national.
The search for the family of the Indian passport holder turned into a multi-layered mystery over her actual citizenship after her residential status could not be confirmed.
Now her father, Pushkar Raj Thapa, has submitted an affidavit with other documentary evidence to establish her real identity as Jamuna Thapa, a resident of Nepal’s Biratnagar.
Her Nepali Passport No 06428396, issued on April 16, 2013 shows her date of birth as June 15, 1975. The photos on her Indian and Nepali passports look identical. A certified relationship certificate issued by Biratnagar Sub-Metropolitan City Office identifies Jamuna Thapa as daughter of Pushkar Raj and Tirtha Kumari Thapa, and sister of Bharat Thapa.
Nepalese authorities in Israel have sought cooperation of the Indian Embassy requesting for an No Objection Certificate to allow repatriation of the dead body of Jamuna Thapa to Nepal.
They have sent an affidavit along with copies of her Nepali citizenship card, Nepali passport, relationship certificate from Biratnagar Sub-Metropolitan City Office and an apology for the use of Indian passport.
A Nepali official in Israel said that the “documentary evidence and our own checks shows that she was a Nepali national from Biratnagar”.
Sources here said that Jamuna Thapa’s parents have told authorities that she was in a bad marriage back home and obtained an Indian passport to escape to Israel for better prospects five years ago. It is not clear as to how she managed to obtain an Indian passport.
It seems that she was even illegally employed in Israel for the past two years, they said.