Rajbir Singh, one of the agents who sent men from the region to Iraq, has turned out to be the uncle of Harjit Masih — the only one among 40 abducted Indians to have escaped from the clutches of IS in Iraq.
The families of the other Indians are, however, sceptical about Harjit’s claims that the other abductees were killed.
They suspected “foul play” in Harjit’s escape story, and alleged that Rajbir could have played a role in Harjit’s escape.
- Always said they were killed, says lone survivor Harjit Masih
- Indians killed in Iraq: For four years, swinging between hope, despair
- Indians killed in Iraq: Victims’ families call it ‘government’s biggest failure’
- Harjit Masih on 39 Indians killed in Iraq: My stand vindicated, case against me should be withdrawn
- 39 Indians abducted by Islamic State are dead: Here’s what Sushma Swaraj told Parliament
- 39 Indians confirmed dead in ISIS captivity in Iraq: Here’s what we know about the 2014 abduction and thereafter
“How could Harjit escape while the others stayed back? The agent who sent the men to Iraq is Harjit’s relative. We believe Harjit is lying about others being killed,” said Kanwaljit Kaur, whose son Dharminder was among the abductees.
“We got to know that Harjit is a relative of Rajbir Singh, the agent through which my son went to Iraq. We paid Rs 1.8 lakh to send Harsimranjit to Iraq,” said his mother Harbhajan. “But we do not have any credible information, so we don’t want to blame anyone,” she added. Seema, whose husband Sonu was abducted, and Sarwan Singh, whose brother Nishan Singh was abducted, also said it was Rajbir who sent their relatives to Iraq and may have a role in Harjit’s escape.
When contacted, Harjit said, “Rajbir is my uncle. Neither the agent nor the government can be blamed for what happened in Iraq. It is the militants in Iraq who are to be blamed.”
The family of Harjit dismissed the allegations. “The men who went to Iraq used to send money back home for nearly 11 months. And now these families are levelling baseless allegations against my uncle,” said Robin Masih, Harjit’s cousin.