The Indians kidnapped in Iraq had informed their families that they were picked up from their construction site in Mosul on June 11 and kept in a thread factory. On June 15, all the families lost contact with these youths.
At least eight persons from Punjab are confirmed to be among those kidnapped. Of these, Harsimran, 23, and his friend Jatinder, 24, are from Jalandhar villages. Both work with the Tariq Noor Al Huda company in Mosul and have not been in touch with their families since June 15.
Harsimran is from Bagowal village in Jalandhar while Jatinder is from a nearby village, Sialka.
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Harsimran’s mother Harbhajan Kaur said Harsimran kept telling her that he was fine. “He did not share a word about what was
happening. Then his phone line snapped. I got worried. I contacted Jatinder’s mother who said that Jatinder had been telling her about their forced shifting to an unknown place and Harsimran did not want me to get worried, so kept quiet,” she said.
Jatinder’s mother Ranjit Kaur said Jatinder called on Wednesday night saying that some people were taking them away. “I called everyday after that and he said that it seemed the people who took them were fighting a battle. They kept telling Jatinder and the others that they had no enmity towards them. Jatinder said they were being given food and water and were comfortable. The last time I talked to him was on Sunday about 3 pm,” she said.
Manjinder Singh, 24, is from Bhoewal village in Amritsar. He is also with the same company. He talked to his sister Gurpinder on Sunday about 1.30 pm.
“He had told us that the people who had brought them were armed but the situation in that country is such that it is difficult to say who is a terrorist and who is not. Even the civilians carry arms. He said he was fine and there were 40 others with him,” said Gurpinder.
Gurpinder added that another kidnapped person had called his family in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday evening and said that they were being shifted again and were asked to sit in cars. After that, no one has been in touch with them.
Gobinder Singh, 41, is among those kidnapped. He is from Jalandhar. His wife Amarjit Kaur told The Indian Express that Gobinder was talking to her every day till June 15. “He told us that they are in a thread factory and were being given food and water. He said that the kidnappers are terrorists. He said the persons who brought them to the factory had left them in the care of another,” she said.
Dharaminder Kumar from Gurdaspur is also among those kidnapped. His mother Kamaljit talked to him everyday till Saturday, after which his mobile number stopped working. “On Tuesday night, he called to say that he and the others in his company were being shifted to an unknown place. He told us that the army was everywhere in the city and workers in many companies have been killed,” Kamaljit told The Indian Express.
Parminder Singh of village Jagatpura near Balachaur is also among those kidnapped. His brother Gurdeep Singh also had the same story to relate. Gobinder Singh of village Marar in Kapurthala is working in Mosul too and is feared to be kidnapped. The last contact of the family with him was on Sunday, said Deputy Commissioner Kapurthala D S Mangat. Ranjit, of Manawala village in Ajnala, Amritsar, is also among those kidnapped.