Relatives of 39 Indians “missing” in Iraq met minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj on Thursday and returned just like their previous 10 visits — confused and in despair. “The minister said her sources are still saying that the boys are fine and working at some place there,” Krishna, mother of Parwinder Kumar from Jagatpura village in Nawanshahr, told The Indian Express on Friday. “She told us that government is taking help from other countries in locating and getting the youth released.”
The 39 men have been missing since the last two years in Iraq. While it is suspected that they were abducted by the terrorist group Islamic State (IS), Harjit Masih, who claimed to have escaped the group’s clutches had said they were killed. Till date, the government has not been able to produce a single proof-of-life, extracting a huge emotional cost on the families of the “missing”.
Surinder Kaur (60), mother of Gurdeep Singh of Jaitpur village in Hoshiarpur, who also reached from Delhi on Friday evening has been inconsolable since the meeting. “I call Parminder’s mobile phone daily but no one picks up,” said Krishna, mother of Parminder Kumar of Jagatpur village in Nawanshashr. Among the kidnapped 12 youth are from the four districts of Punjab’s Doaba region – Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala. Except one youth, who belongs to Jat community, the rest are Dalits.