Caskets from Mosul reach home: ‘This one night’s wait seems longer than the four years’

Even as the mortal remains of the Indians killed in Mosul reached their hometowns Monday, the families of 11 out of 13 victims, who were among the 39 killed in Iraq from Doaba region could not get the mortal remains despite waiting through the day.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar | Updated: April 3, 2018 10:11:06 am
Bodies of Indians killed in Iraq returns in Punjab Kin of Balwant Rai at Dhadda village, Jalandhar. (Express Photo)

Even as the mortal remains of the Indians killed in Mosul reached their hometowns Monday, the families of 11 out of 13 victims, who were among the 39 killed in Iraq from Doaba region — Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Nawanshahr districts — could not get the mortal remains on Monday despite waiting through the day.

They will have to wait for one more night to get the remains as the district administration of three districts, except Kapurthala, will hand them over to the families Tuesday morning. The reason given by the district authorities was that it was quite late by the time the remains arrived at the airport and thus could not be taken to the families before sunset. They added that all the coffins were kept at the mortuaries of the civil hospitals in the respective districts.

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

Bodies of Indians killed in Iraq returns in Punjab The bodies were brought to India from Mosul on a special Air Force One aircraft. (Express Photo)

The families of all the 11 victims, including seven from Jalandhar, and two each from Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur, were waiting for the mortal remains since morning and a large number of relatives also reached their respective places.

Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Varinder Sharma said the mortal remains would be handed over to the families around 7 am Tuesday.

“I was asked to accompany the ambulance to the airport in which the mortal remains of my father was to be brought and I went at 5 am to the place from where the team was to proceed to Amritsar. But I was not taken along on the pretext that there was no need of taking family members,” said Rakesh Kumar, son of deceased Balwant Rai of Dhadda village in Jalandhar district. “Till 5 pm, we were not told clearly about what will happen,” he added.

A Patwari came in the evening to inform ha body will be given tomorrow morning now,” said Rakesh, adding that it was difficult for them to wait any longer.

The family members of other deceased, including Surjit Menka from Chuharwali village and Roop Lal of Bath Kalan villages, also found themselves in a similar situation Monday.

“We spent four years waiting for them but this one night’s wait seems longer now. Now we are aware that our dear ones are lying in Jalandhar’s civil hospital,” said Shindo, the mother of deceased Kulwinder Singh of Khan-ke-Fatehgarh village in Jalandhar.

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