A retired couple stranded in India by the COVID-19 pandemic were robbed and killed before they could get on a flight back to Canada.

“It’s a tragic loss that we will never be able to refill with anything else,” their son-in-law, Kam Rathore, said Wednesday.

He said Kirpal Minhas, 67, and his wife Davinder, 65, travelled to the Punjab region of northern India in November to check on properties they owned there.

It was the first trip back for the permanent residents, who used to run a transportation company, since they came to Canada in late 2016.

Rathore said his in-laws were scheduled to fly home to Calgary in early April, but that flight was cancelled as the pandemic ground almost all global air travel to a halt.

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He said family tried registering them online for a Canadian government repatriation flight, but couldn’t because they were not citizens.

Loved ones booked them on another flight arranged through a Vancouver volunteer group in late April, but that, too, was cancelled.

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