Wednesday December 19, 2018
Home Indian Diaspora Indians Missi...

Indians Missing in Iraq: Families Swing from Hope to Hopelessness

Earlier this month, Sushma Swaraj had assured Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that her ministry was making all-out efforts to trace and facilitate the return of the 39 Indians.

0
//
Mosul, Iraq
39 Indians still remain missing from Mosul Iraq. Wikimedia
Republish
Reprint
  • Iraqi Foreign Minister on Monday said that he was not sure if the missing Indians were alive or not
  •  Families of 39 Indians, mostly from Punjab, who went missing in Iraq’s Mosul town three years ago are still keeping their fingers crossed
  • A Punjab government official said that they were in touch with the External Affairs Ministry “to ensure that all efforts are made to trace the missing Indians and to get them back home safely”

Chandigarh, July 26, 2017: Families of 39 Indians, mostly from Punjab, who went missing in Iraq’s Mosul town three years ago are still keeping their fingers crossed even after Iraqi Foreign Minister on Monday said that he was not sure if the missing Indians were alive or not.

“We can only hope for the return of our loved ones. We have been going through this torture for the past over three years,” said Manjit Kaur, whose husband Dalwinder is among the missing men.

“The minister (Sushma Swaraj) told us that things are settling in Iraq and the area, where the 39 men are said to be held hostage, could be cleared in the next 2-3 months,” said Kaur, who had met her in New Delhi last week along with families of the other missing men and been assured that all efforts were being made to trace the missing men.

Visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who met Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Monday, later said: “We’re not 100 per cent sure if they’re alive or not. We don’t know, but we’ll do our best.”

ALSO READ: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Wants Canada to Rein in Radical Sikh Elements

Sushma Swaraj had, earlier this month, also assured Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that her ministry was making all-out efforts to trace and facilitate the return of the 39 Indians.

Other affected families, who all are from poor backgrounds from different parts of Punjab, say that they have nothing but to pin hopes on the government’s and the minister’s assurances.

“The families are in a bad shape with children and old parents to fend for. Their respective bread-winners, who had gone to Iraq to earn money are not safe. The families are hardly able to sustain themselves despite government help,” said Balbir Singh, friend of one of the missing persons.

Meanwhile, a Punjab government official said that they were in touch with the External Affairs Ministry “to ensure that all efforts are made to trace the missing Indians and to get them back home safely”.

A man from Punjab, Harjit Masih, who escaped from the clutches of IS terrorist organisation in June 2014 had claimed that all 39 Indian nationals who were taken hostage on June 11, 2014 in Mosul town had been killed.

However, the External Affairs Ministry had maintained that it had no information confirming that they were dead. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

Concerned Over The Rise of Drug Usage In The State: Himachal Governor

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair.

0
drugs, himachal
There are countless mothers who have been constantly tormented by drug-dependent adolescent children. Pixabay

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday expressed concern over the rise in drug addiction, particularly among the youth in the state, and called for concerted efforts to tackle the menace.

“Effective steps have been taken by the government and police administration, but we all need to work together in this direction,” he said at the inauguration of the centuries-old Lavi Fair in Rampur town, which was once a centre of barter trade with Tibet.

He called upon the people to promote natural farming. The state government has made a provision of Rs 25 crore to promote natural or organic farming to produce chemical-free food.

The 400-year-old Lavi Fair has undergone a sea change with the rural folk’s changing lifestyles and aspirations, resulting in a greater sale of gadgets and automobiles than traditional items such as farm implements, livestock and dry fruits.

Himachal
‘The traders from across the border have stopped coming’ Pixabay

The fair dates back to the time when Raja Kehari Singh of Rampur Bushahr state signed a treaty to promote trade with Tibet.

Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan, Tibet and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

“People have stopped buying farm implements, horses and sheep. Now, they prefer to shop luxury goods like television sets and automobiles,” trader Ishwar Goyal told IANS.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will preside over the concluding session of the fair on November 14.

Another trader Deepak Negi said Rampur was a centre of trade before the 1962 India-China war.

The traders from Tibet used to bring raw wool, butter, herbs and leather products and bartered them for wheat, rice, farm implements and livestock.

himachal
Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan. Pixabay

“Now, the traders from across the border have stopped coming. Indian multinational companies come here to sell their products. The fair has largely lost its relevance,” he added.

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair. The main attraction during the exhibition were the Chamurthi horses – an endangered species known as the ‘Ship Of the Cold Desert’. Being a surefooted animal, it is mainly used for transporting goods in the Himalayas.

Also Read: Quitting Junk Food May Cause You to Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Similar to Drug Addition

The Chamurthi horse traces its origin to the Tibet region. In India, it’s bred in the villages of Himachal Pradesh bordering China.

The fair sees several folk artistes from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh perform. (IANS)