June 15th, 2014. It was a day of tragedy, despair and hopelessness for the families of 39 Indians ( Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal) who were kidnapped and captured in Iraq by ISIS. Families of those Indians had the last conversation with them on that day and since then there was no track of them until recently when the bodies of the deceased were recovered from a mass grave in Mosul, Iraq.
“Whenever we visited Delhi, Sushma Swaraj would swear by Kaali maa and say our sons were alright. She used to say ‘Kaali maa ki kasam, bachhe surakshit hain’. Where is that promise now?” said Sardara Singh, the father of 36-year-old Gurcharan Singh, from Jalal Ussma village in Gurdaspur.
Sad news of the confirmation of the deaths of 39 Indians in Iraq. Thoughts & prayers are w/their families. But why did the Govt give false hope to the nation for three and a half years that the people were still alive? That was disappointing behaviour.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) March 20, 2018
On March 20th, 2018, Sushma Swaraj ( External Affairs Minister) declared in Rajya Sabha that people who went missing in 2014 are dead. It was during last year, the government began collecting DNA samples from the families, giving the first indication of what could be in store.
Inconsolable families are in shock, anger and despair that after approaching the government frequently and continuously and keeping a faith in their words after the mentioned that those men were alive: they are getting to know about the death through ‘tv’ channels. They, at the least, expected the government to behave in a more humane way.
“The family of Gobinder Singh had earlier met External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj several times. “We met the Union minister 12 times but every time we were told the 39 Indians were alive,” he claimed.
Punjab government has been giving Rs. 20,000 per month to the families. Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh asked the centre to announce ex-gratia relief to the families. “I would be grateful if the government of India could provide due assistance to the families of the deceased, given the special circumstances,” he wrote.
No compensation can come even close to the tragedy faced by the families and the wait they have been holding on for 3 years and even more. Regardless, this compensation will help the families to grow financially.