Caskets from Mosul reach home: ‘Destiny that he has to return like this… lifeless’

“I never knew my husband will come home like this. He had big dreams, wanted to earn well and return with riches. Everything has been shattered," says Chandresh Kumari, widow of Sandeep, one of the four from Himachal Pradesh killed in Mosul.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Dharamasala | Published: April 3, 2018 10:22:00 am
Bodies of Indians killed in Iraq returns to Himachal Pradesh The bodies were brought to India from Mosul on a special Air Force One aircraft. (Express Photo)

Chandresh Kumari, widow of Sandeep, one of the four from Himachal Pradesh killed by IS in Mosul, whose mortal remains reached Kangra Monday, was making frantic calls to Chief Minister’s office and also government officials to know when will her son Rudhrans, 8, would be able to perform the last rites.

“I never knew my husband will come home like this. He had big dreams, wanted to earn well and return with riches. Everything has been shattered. For four years, I have been knocking at the government’s doors to get a job. Even today, I called up the CMO to find out if the government will help out in any way to make my children’s future secure. I want a job, not any relief or dole. This will help to sustain my husband’s aged parents,” she told The Indian Express over phone.

Also read‘This one night’s wait seems longer than the four years’

Of the four – three of them from Kangra and one from Mandi, the mortal remains of Sandeep Kumar, 41, of Dhameta village (Kangra) was kept at Nurpur Hospital and those of the other three were escorted to the mortuary of Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Tanda (Kangra).

“Tomorrow, we will hand over the mortal remains to the families. The sub-divisional magistrate is in touch with the families and arrangements were being made for last rites. We have got DNA reports and other papers about identities of the deceased. Everything will be done Tuesday,” said Kangra DC Sandeep Kumar.

The news that the remains would reach their hometowns has brought some relief to the kin and pain, too. “It’s his destiny that he has to return like this… lifeless,” said Ramesh Chand, father of Aman. He is a retired army personnel.

Also read | Tears and grief at end of four-year wait: Caskets from Mosul flown home to Punjab

He added, “If the opportunity comes, I will go to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with folded hands to thank her for helping to bring the moral remains. Had she not being the minister in-charge, one one may have cared to even know about these boys. I salute her spirit and mother-like sensitivity to the issue,” he told The Indian Express.

The family recalled how Aman defied their advice to go to Iraq in 2014. He had barely been there for two months before he was abducted. The family wanted him to join the Army and he even made an attempt to but could not make it. His last call to the family was on June 15, 2014 – when Aman spoke about his ordeal having been taken hostage by Islamic State (IS) militants and taken to undisclosed locations.

His father admits that he had already told himself that Aman was not alive. “The situation in Iraq is really bad. In India, we at least value humanity and law,” he said.

At Kadretii village (Lunj), Inderjeet ‘s family is inconsolable. His mother Sulochana Devi said, “My children have slept hungry. They starved as we had no means to feed them. I used to work, manual abour and even do domestic jobs at other’s houses. We begged and borrowed to see they at least study till matriculation. His father also did labour/daily wage job, borrowed second-hand books from students, uniforms and food from other from them,” she recalled.

She claims that an agent who arranged a visa for Inderjeet duped the family of Rs 1.30 lakh. Instead of sending him to Saudi Arabia as he had promised, he sent him to Iraq.”

She added, “My son said he (the agent) would forfeit the money paid to him if I refused Iraq .He (Inderjit) was forced to accept the offer. He had Rs 10,000 which this agent also extorted from him.”

Hemraj, who also belonged to Mandi district, is survived by wife, two children beside aged parents and grandparents. “They must have tortured him (Hemraj) a lot before killing him,” said a relative.

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