Iraq deaths: Kin refuse to accept bodies, demand compensation

Posted April 04, 2018

Thirty-nine of the 40 Indian labourers were killed by the terror group, while one of them managed to escape posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh.

According to reports, one of the dead bodies did not completely match with the DNA sample.

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh, who brought back mortal remains of 39 Indians killed in Iraq here on Monday, urged all state governments to take strict action against fake agents who send unskilled and innocent people overseas illegally.

Forty Indian men were kidnapped at the construction site where they worked, close to Mosul.

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ISIL abducted and killed the workers shortly after seizing the northern city of Mosul in the summer of 2014.

Of the 39 Indians killed in Iraq, majority construction workers and labourers, 27 are from Punjab and four are from Bihar. The 29 Indians from Punjab belong to Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Jalandhar.

A special aircraft carrying the mortal remains of 38 Indians killed in Iraq arrived at the Amritsar International Airport today. About 10,000 Indians lived and worked in Iraq at the time. Both state and central govts are sensitive.

Asked how they were killed, Singh, a former army chief, said that some of the persons were killed by bullets.

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She said it was the primary duty of the Indian ambassador in the country to immediately inform the government in India after news broke out that the situation had worsened in Iraq. Sidhu met the family members at the airport and assured that the government would rehabilitate them. "They will be provided all possible help as per the rules; they may have demands but if these are beyond the rules, we will put it before the senior officials".

On being asked if his government would consider providing jobs to the families of those killed by the IS in Iraq, Singh lost his cool once again saying 'This is not a game of football'.

"Should we take it that the government did not acknowledge them as Indians?"

Singh made a suggestion that the coffins should not be opened because of toxic contents in the remains, "The Martyrs Foundation had advised against the opening of caskets. Families have been informed".

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