Government Confirms Death Of 39 Indians By ISIS In Iraq In 2014, Kin Irked On Government
The Indian government confirmed the death of the 39 Indians kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq in 2014. The kin of the deceased vented their ire against the government for not having informed them about the deaths earlier, according to news agency ANI.
The government must provide DNA reports demand Kin
Demand for the DNA reports have been made by Gurpinder Kaur, sister of Manjinder Singh, one of the dead. She alleged that the issue is being politicized. Despite running from pillar to post since the last four years, no information had been given by the government. But they came to know of the deaths through TV, she reportedly told ANI.
She says that she now feels betrayed by the government because the family should have been contacted “as soon as they received the information”, by external affairs minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj.
Kaur further said that after the government had sought the DNA tests, there was apprehension of the worst by her. She said that she suspected something bad had happened to her brother. But now the government is unwilling to provide them the DNA reports, she alleged.
Kaur demanded an explanation of why the Indian foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had been claiming the 39 had been alive. She wants now to meet Swaraj to seek her answers along with the DNA reports.
Roop Lal is another of the deceased and his wife – Kamaljeet Kaur, informed that he had gone to Iraq about seven years ago. she had talked to him last in 2015.
Kamaljeet said that the government had taken blood for the DNA examination two to three months back and now after the revelation, she had no idea what to do.
Sarwan, brother of 31-year-old Nishan who was also killed alleged that the government had kept them in the dark for all these years.
The kin of the then missing Indians had met up with swaraj at least 11 to 12 times a don each occasion the minister had assured them that the 39 missing were alive as per her sources of information Sarwan said. The government had been claiming that Harjit Masih, the only survivor of the incident, had been lying. He demanded to know how things changed suddenly even when the minister’s sources had been claiming the 39 were alive all these days. Instead the government should have informed the kin of the then missing that they had no information about them, Sarwan claimed.
While giving an explanation about the reasons for her notifying the Parliament before informing the families of the dead, Sushma Swaraj said that it was a result of protocol.
The minister cited norms of informing the Parliament as a protocol that she had to follow while she attempted to explain and pacify the demands of the kin of the dead about why she had not informed the relatives earlier. Earlier, Swaraj had had acknowledged of the deaths at the Rajya Sabha.
Swaraj further claimed that she was satisfied about her statement of her announcing the deaths only after getting accurate information and confirmation of 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”, she said.
There were 26 residents from Punjab, six hailed from Bihari, four from Himachal Pradesh and two of the dead were from West Bengal.
Arrangements for DNA tests of the kin of the missing were undertaken by the government last year. The reason for the DNA test was to get them matched with those from the bodies that had been recovered from a mass grave, said Swaraj about the incident.
(Adapted from TheTimesofIndia.Indiatimes.com)