The family members of Indians abducted in Iraq complained of “ordeal” at the Tughlaq Road police station in Delhi after they were taken into custody to prevent them from protesting outside the residence of Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.
The family members of 39 hapless Indians, who were abducted in June last year from Mosul by ISIS militants, had been protesting at Jantar Mantar for the past few days seeking information about their family members from the government.
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On Thursday morning, when they were heading towards the residence of Sushma Swaraj to lodge a protest, Delhi police stopped them and took them to Tughlaq Road police station.
As per the protestors, police released them in the evening, only after Seema Devi, a resident of Chawinda Devi in Amritsar district fainted, in the police station. Seema’s husband Sonu is among those held captive by the ISIS militants.
Seema was rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. “Police did not even arrange for an ambulance. It was the activists of Aam Aadmi Sena who were accompanying us who arranged for the vehicle to take Seema to the hospital.
And after Seema fainted, police took as much as half an hour to complete the paperwork before letting us go,” Sarwan Kumar, a resident of Sanguana village in Amritsar district, told over phone. Sarwan’s brother Nishan Singh is among those held captive by the ISIS militants.
“The police took us into custody and it was a harrowing experience in the police station where police did not offer anything to eat. Seema fainted in the evening,” said Manjit Kaur, a resident of Chak Desraj village in Jalandhar district. Her husband Davinder Singh is in militant’s captivity.
“Every time we go to the government to seek information about our family members, we are told that we should trust God. If only God is what we are to trust, what is the role of the government. We had no choice but to lodge a protest,” said Manjit Kaur.
“We were only given tea by the police when we were brought to the police station. At lease we got to taste government’s tea and that too in a police station. No one from the government has come to offer us anything at Jantar Mantar where we have been observing dharna,” another protestor Munish said sarcastically. Munish hails from Amritsar and his brother Harish is held captive in Iraq.
“There are as many as eight women, elderly and even diabetics among the protestors. But, cops remained indifferent to our plight,” said Munish.
“The only respite came when Congress Member of Parliament Ravneet Bittu brought us some snacks and cold drinks in the evening. Before that we had been requesting cops to allow couple of us to go out to bring something to eat, but we were not allowed. Cops were telling that they had been instructed that we should not be offered anything to eat nor let go,” said Sarwan Singh.
“It has been 11 months and government has failed to give any information about our family members.
So, we had to do something. And after our request for a meeting with Sushma Swaraj was turned down, we decided to protest outside her residence,” said Swaran Singh.
The families of abducted Indians have had series of meetings with Sushma Swaraj, but they every time they got assurances only but no solid information about their family members.