VK brings back remains of Indians, says they travelled to Iraq illegally

by Garry Watts April 4, 2018, 0:58
VK brings back remains of Indians, says they travelled to Iraq illegally

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh drew flak on Friday from Congress and TMC for his remarks comparing the demand for compensation to families of the 39 Indians killed in Iraq to "distribution of biscuits".

Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh, who left for Iraq on Sunday, also accompanied the bodies.

"They were not killed because they were illegal immigrants, but due to their nationality, that is Indian".

Of the 39 Indians killed in Iraq, a lot of them construction workers and labourers, 27 are from Punjab and four are from Bihar.

After that, on the basis of DNA reports, the families of the youth were identified leading to the mortal remains being brought to India. I kept contacting the ambassador over the phone from June 6 to June 15 from here 10 times in a day. "Do you understand", Singh further told reporters.

He also said that the families, who have been alleging they were kept in dark about the status of their loved ones, should not indulge in politics and perform the last rites peacefully.

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"Once the embassy had been informed about them, they can not say that they did not have a record".

Another travel agent, Harvinderjit Singh Sikka said that people in Punjab use illegal means to visit Iraq.

Besides, a member of each family will be given job as per qualification, he said.

In Punjab, state Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said his government would offer jobs to one relative of each of the 27 Punjabi workers killed in Iraq.

Grieving families - who were told for years by government officials that their loved ones were still alive - waited at an airport in the northwest state of Punjab to receive the coffins from Baghdad. "We will handover the mortal remains to their families". A government campaign, backed by the US-led worldwide coalition, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group's previously proclaimed capital.

Singh will first go to Amritsar to hand over the bodies of the deceased Indians to their families.

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