Hoshiarpur, Mar 20 (PTI) The news of death of two youths from this district, who were among the 39 missing Indians in Iraq, has shell-shocked their family members in villages Jaitpur and Chhauni Kalan.
Kamaljit Singh of village Chhauni Kalan went to Iraq in 2014 to earn for his family, his younger brother Parwinder Singh Lucky said.
Kamaljit Singh is survived by wife Harwinder Kaur, a son and a daughter, he said.
The family approached Sushma Swaraj, Union External Affairs Minister, nine times to know about the fate of Kamaljit Singh, Lucky said claiming “she did not given a suitable reply”.
The kin of the deceased learnt about the death of Kamaljit Singh after Swaraj’s disclosure in the Rajya Sabha today.
Lucky demanded suitable compensation to the family and a government job to the deceased’s wife.
A stream of villagers was visiting their house to express their condolences.
Not very far away, in village Jaitpur, Reena Rani, sister-in-law of deceased Gurdeep Singh (39), son of Mukhtiar Singh, is as grief-stricken.
Gurdeep Singh went to Iraq to earn his livelihood in 2013. He is survived by a 5-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter and wife Anita Rani. Anita Rani is working to provide mid-day meals in schools to earn for her family.
The family also demanded a suitable compensation and a government job for the deceased’s wife.
In Rurka Kalan in Jalandhar district, Manjit Kaur, now the widow of Devinder Singh, is inconsolabe.
“All hopes that Union External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was giving us in several meetings stand dashed to ground. I have come to know about the death of my husband through media. We have not received any information about it from the government,” she said.
Devinder Singh belonged to village Chak Des Raj but lived with his in-laws’ in Rurka Kalan.
Amid tears, Manjit Kaur told newsmen that her husband left for Iraq in 2011. He worked there as a steel fitter, she said.
“My last telephonic talk with him was on June 15, 2014”, she said crying incessantly.
Manjit Kaur said she, alongwith other family members of concerned Indians, had met Sushma Swaraj several times in New Delhi.
“On all these occasions, Swaraj had told us that the concerned Indians are missing but alive. Eventually, disappointment came our way,” she rued.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she did not keep anyone in the dark over the killing of 39 Indians in captivity in Iraq or give the families “false hopes”.
Defending herself against a barrage of criticism, the minister said she had kept her word that she would declare them dead if she gets conclusive proof. PTI cor VSD ADS ADS
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.