THE grieving widow of a man who died at an immigration detention centre where the couple were sent after flying into the UK from India for a holiday, has finally been released.
Bhavisha Patel, who has an eight-year-old son in India, is now staying with relatives in Wembley following the ordeal in Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre.
Her 33-year-old husband, Pinakin Patel, passed away last Monday (20) after allegedly being forced to wait 15 minutes for medical help in the facility.
The couple from Gujarat arrived on visitors visas, and Bhavisha also brought copies of her qualifications because she was unsure what papers were needed to enter into the UK.
What was supposed to be a ten-day dream holiday, including a trip to Scotland, turned into a nightmare when they were sent straight to Yarl’s Wood because officials believed they planned to stay in the UK despite having booked return tickets to India.
Fellow detainees at the detention facility went on hunger strike last week to protest against the injustice of the widow being detained after her husband had passed away in the centre.
Anthony Gard from the Movement for Justice campaign group told Eastern Eye the parents were held in the Hummingbird family unit at Yarls Wood.
“He [Pinakin] collapsed very suddenly as far as we know on Monday morning. It took 15 minutes for healthcare to get there, which is quite long considering it is in the same building.
“I’ve had some reports that he had been complaining previously about pains. This is one of the things that people who were in other units told me.”
“She was released on Wednesday, they were saying they were going to release her on Tuesday. From Monday morning, the people in her unit at Yarls Wood went on hunger strike because of the fact that she was still being kept there. “They [the couple] were saying for weeks: ‘Just let us go back [to India]’.
They said: ‘No, we can’t do that because of the process’’, which is torture,” he added.
A Home Office spokesman said they did not comment on individual cases. He added: “Our thoughts are with the family at this very sad time. As is the case with any death in the immigration detention estate. The police have been informed and a full independent investigation will be conducted by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.”
A spokesman for Serco, the private contractor which runs the centre, said in a statement: “Sadly a male resident at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre died yesterday morning. Our thoughts are with his family.”