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Muscat: Five months pregnant, a loving husband and good job caring for others. Life for Chikku Robert held so much promise, but that future has been robbed by a shocking and violent end.
“She used to send money every month, asking us to buy gifts for her expecting baby and the entire family was excited. Sophia Issac (Chikku Robert’s mother) had bought some too. We were waiting for her arrival in September for the delivery. But fate is against us and now we are waiting for her mortal remains.”
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These are the words of Shaji Issac, Chikku Robert’s uncle, who said he is still in shock after hearing the news that his niece was found dead in Oman following a stabbing incident.
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Robert, a nurse from the south Indian state of Kerala, was found dead in her apartment in Salalah with stab marks on her body, late at night on Wednesday.
She was supposed to be on duty by 10pm on Wednesday, but as she did not turn up for work, Linson Thomas, her husband, who is also working in the same hospital, went to the apartment to look for her, where she was found her lying dead.
Robert and Thomas had married in October and she was five months pregnant.
“She used to call Sophia daily. That day, she didn’t. Sophia was a bit worried then itself. However, later on, we told her that Chikku had met with some accident and had been admitted to hospital. That itself had devastated her. She had fainted and was rushed to hospital,” Shaji, who flew to Kerala from Kuwait following Chikku’s tragic death, told the Times of Oman over phone from Chikku’s home in Kerala.
“Chikku was a state-level basketball player. She had won several trophies and medals. I have put them all in a cupboard and locked them. Seeing them again and again is worrisome,” Chikku’s uncle said, adding that the entire village was still not out of the shock.
“It’s a small village in Kerala. She was an inspiring character for others here as she grew up on the basis of her own skills at all levels,” the uncle added.
Robert had joined Badr Al Samaa some three years back and married Thomas, who was working in the same hospital as a customer care official.
“Both of them were a loving couple. She was good with everyone. Her pleasing nurture made patients love her a lot,” Susamma Chacko, the head nurse at the hospital, said.
Renu Joseph, marketing official at the hospital, said the staff is still struggling to adjust with the reality.
Devassy Ko, the group general manager of the hospital, said Thomas is still with police officials as part of the investigation.
“He may be released today. We are doing other things to repatriate the mortal remains to Kerala,” Ko added.
Thomas’s brother Lijju said he may be released in the evening yesterday.
“I met him a few hours ago at the police station. He has been kept there as part of an investigation. We are being allowed to meet him. We gave him clothes and food. We all are tense and worried,” Liju, said.
Meanwhile, Manpreet Singh, the Indian consular agent in Salalah, said Robert’s mortal remains are still kept in Salalah’s Sultan Qaboos Hospital.
“We are trying our best to speed up the proceedings and repatriate the body to her hometown,” the Indian consular agent added.
On Thursday, External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj had expressed her condolences on the death of Indian nurse Robert in a tweet on her official Twitter handle.
“I have asked the Indian ambassador to ascertain all the facts and report. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family,” the Indian minister’s tweet read.
The police investigation continues into her death.