Centre repeating empty words, say kin of 40 abducted Indians| MENAFN.COM

Thursday, 26 May 2022 03:06 GMT

Centre repeating empty words, say kin of 40 abducted Indians

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Increasing hopelessness seems to have enveloped families of the 40 Indians abducted in Iraq's Mosul by Islamic State (IS) militants six months ago.

A meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday saw them venting frustration at the government for "repeating old statements" and not being able to provide any proof that their kin are alive.

"The minister repeated what she has been saying to us earlier. There was nothing new to add," Sardara Singh from Amritsar, whose 32-year-old son Gurcharan Singh and the family's sole earning member was kidnapped, said.

Gurcharan was working as a carpenter in Mosul when he along with the other Indian workers was kidnapped from the site of a Turkish construction company in June by suspected Islamic State militants.

Harbhajan Singh, his face wizened with creases and care, said he has heard nothing from his son Kamaljeet Singh, who worked as a crane operator in Mosul.

"Mantri-ji said it will take time, that is what they have been saying all along," Harbhajan Singh said.

Thirty-six families of those abducted Indian men came to meet the minister Friday.

The minister is understood to have told the distraught families that the men are known to be alive, but there is no concrete proof of it. Malkit Singh, whose brother Paramjeet Singh is among the abducted, said they had asked the minister about the whereabouts of Harjeet Masih, one of the workers who escaped from the clutches of IS. Harjeet had said the men have been killed.

"We demanded to meet Harjeet Masih, but she said we cannot meet him. We wanted to know if he really has bullet injuries, she refused to tell us," he said.

"Harjeet Masih is supposed to be in government custody. Then why don't they know about him," another man asked.

"They said they will not allow us to meet him. How can they do this?" he added.

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