39 Indians killed in Iraq: Kin slam government

New Delhi: The kin of the 39 Indians, who were kidnapped in 2014 by ISIS in Iraq and were on March 20 confirmed killed, slammed the government for not informing them about the deaths sooner, reported news agency ANI.
“We demand the government provide us DNA reports. It’s being politicized. We had been running from pillar to post since four years and now we’re being told via TV that we lost one of our own,” ANI quoted Gurpinder Kaur as saying.
Kaur is the sister of Manjinder Singh, who is among the deceased.
She added that external affairs minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj should have contacted the family “as soon as they received the information,” and that she now feels “betrayed”.
“I had an intuition when the government asked us to go for DNA tests. I knew something serious has happened to my brother, but the government was not willing to (disclose the purpose of collecting the DNA samples). This news has crushed everything to the ground,” Kaur said.
“Why did she keep saying they’re alive and she’ll bring them back? She could’ve said she’ll bring them back only if they’re alive. I want to see DNA reports. We’ll get answers only after meeting her,” demanded Kaur.
Kamaljeet Kaur, the wife of another of deceased Roop Lal, was at a loss for words.
“He had left for Iraq seven years ago. We last talked to each other in 2015. They had taken DNA samples two-three months back. I don’t know what to say,” she told ANI.
Kamaljeet Kaur, the wife of another of deceased Roop Lal. (ANI Photo)
“What do we say now,” asked Sarwan, whose 31-year-old brother Nishan was among those killed.
“The government kept us in the dark all these years,” he claimed.
“We met the Union minister (Swaraj) 11 to 12 times and were told that as per their sources, the missing Indians are alive. They have been saying that Harjit Masih, the lone survivor, is a liar. If your sources have been saying they were alive and now suddenly what happened. The government should have told us they have no information about missing Indians rather than making false statements,” he told PTI.
Sarwan terms this “the government’s biggest failure.”
The family of Gobinder Singh, a resident of Murar village in Kapurthala, also found out about the deaths on TV.
“We have not received yet received any call from the Union ministry about the confirmation of death of 39 Indians,” said Davinder Singh, the deceased’s younger brother.
“We now request the government to announce financial help and give a government job to the son of Gobinder Singh so he can take care of his family.”
Dimplejeet Kaur, the sister of Dharminder Kumar, said “all our hopes were dashed today.”
Balwinder Kaur from Manochahal village in Tarn Taran district too struggled to hold back her tears. Her son, Ranjit Singh, is among the 39 Indians declared dead.
“Being a mother, it is difficult to bear the permanent separation from my son … Nobody from the Indian authority was in a position to tell me the plight of my son,” she rued.
Gurmeet Kaur from Jallalusma village in Amritsar district said she was informed via a telephone call that her brother Gurcharan Singh was “stuck in bad circumstances” in Iraq.
She said nobody informed her about whether he was dead or alive, and today she was told her brother was killed by ISIS.
Swaraj today cited protocol to explain why she informed Parliament about the killings of 39 Indian citizens in Iraq before letting their families know.
“Some kin of the victims have questioned as to why they were not told about the deaths before Parliament. It is parliamentary procedure to first inform the House, so it was my duty,” said Swaraj, hours after she confirmed the deaths in the Rajya Sabha.
“I am satisfied that I had stated that will declare them dead only on the day I have concrete evidence. I kept my word. I will get my closure when I hand over the mortal remains to their families and they receive proper last rites.”

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