Iraq Deaths: Pall of gloom descends on victims' families from Punjab

by Abel Hampton March 21, 2018, 3:24
Iraq Deaths: Pall of gloom descends on victims' families from Punjab

When an eyewitness came forward said the IS have killed the Indians, they dismissed that too.

But Swaraj has consistently disputed his account of the hostages' deaths and said on Tuesday that Masih had escaped from Iraq by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh.

Reacting to the confirmation of deaths, Swaran Singh, whose kin was among the 39 dead, said Sushma Swaraj should have informed the aggrieved families about the deaths before "exploding the bomb on us" in Parliament.

Swaraj said authorities in Baghdad helped identify the mound in Badush, about 420 kms (260 miles) from the capital Baghdad, and with the help of deep penetration radar, the buried bodies were discovered and exhumed. She said that the bodies of missing Indians were recovered from Badosh - a village in northwest of Mosul, and their identities established through DNA testing. Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala, "The government had on seven occasions told the families of the 39 Indians kidnapped by Daesh that they were alive." he told reporters. Every time, she told us that our men are safe.

Briefing media persons later, Sushma Swaraj said her government did not believe in declaring a missing person as believed to be killed. He added that he was brought back to India within weeks of the shootout, but was "released" by the government months later.

The mortal remains of the dead will be brought back to India on a special plane and handed over to their relatives. "I had said this in Parliament earlier", said Swaraj. "It is baseless that Harjit Masih was harassed, he was kept in protective custody".

The Congress and the government got into a war of words after Ms. Swaraj accused the principal Opposition party of doing "politics over the dead" and prevented her from speaking on the issue in the Lok Sabha.

"For verification of the bodies, DNA samples of their relatives were sent there".

"Swaraj had said when the Iraqi prime minister comes to India, the government will confirm it from him, but didn't do anything", he added.

As many as 27 of the dead were from Punjab, five from Bihar, four from Himachal and two from Bengal. The Opposition slammed the government for giving hopes to the families and delaying announcement of deaths. She based her statement on meetings with Arab and Palestinian leaders. I do not want to say anything about it."Gen. Singh said there was hope, but then seeing the situation there, chances of missing people being alive seemed slim".

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