Mortal remains of Indians killed in Iraq arrive in Amritsar

Mortal remains of Indians killed in Iraq arrive in Amritsar

Kerry Wise
April 6, 2018

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh had left for Iraq on Sunday to bring back the mortal remains of the Indians, killed in the war-torn country.

The victims were mostly from poor families in India's northern state of Punjab and had been working for a construction company operating near Mosul. Of the 40, one escaped and eventually returned to India, but the 39 others were executed by their captors, officials said.

On March 20, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj informed the Rajya Sabha members in the Parliament that the 39 Indian nationals, who went missing in Mosul in 2014, were killed by the terror outfit Islamic State (IS).

Sarwan Singh, the younger brother of Nishan Singh -- who was also killed in Iraq, said the minister's statement was unfortunate.

The group once had control of about a third of Iraq, but was driven out during a three-year campaign by Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition. The coffins were handed over to families according to slip and number pasted on coffins. Masih had claimed that all the kidnapped Indians were killed. He made his way back to India, where he told authorities that his 39 colleagues had been killed.

Two bodies were delivered in Kolkata.

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Mos said that one person's mortal remains are still in Iraq as DNA did not match. "Had there been any information that these persons (40 Indian men) were in crisis at a particular location, we would have rescued them", he told reporters.

The minister said that had the government had any information about these people being in danger, it could have tried to save them.

"This was my fourth trip to Iraq [since the workers disappeared]". We do not want anybody to go illegally overseas. The terror group was subsequently beaten back by USA -supported Iraqi forces following a volatile three-year campaign.

Asked how they were killed, General Singh, a former army chief, said that some of the persons were killed by bullets. He also announced individual payments of 500,000 rupees ($7,675) as compensation for the next of their kin. "Unless we are assured of the compensation that Bihar Government will give us, we will not take his body home". We had faith in the government.

The remains of the 38 men reached the country on Monday almost four years after they went missing and were identified through DNA and forensic tests.

Earlier, the families of victims protested when they were told by government officials that they should not open the coffin.