Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said that he was 'shattered at the heart-wrenching news' that 39 Indians, abducted by the ISIS, had been killed in Iraq. He wrote to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj expressing his shock and demanded the BJP-led NDA government to announce ex-gratia for families of the killed.
“I am very sorry to learn from your statement today in Parliament regarding the 39 Indian hostages in Mosul have been declared dead,” Singh wrote to Swaraj in a official communique.
The chief minister further said that the news came as a great shock for their families as well as “all of us who were hoping and praying for their well-being.”
Singh requested the external affairs minister to provide all necessary assistance to the families of the deceased to carry out the last rites.
“Indian government should also announce ex-gratia relief to the families of the 39 deceased,” the Punjab chief minister added.
Punjab chief minsiter also informed Swaraj that 24 out of 39 Indian killed in Iraq’s Mosul by ISIS are from Punjab. “The state government has been providing a monthly assistance. I would be grateful if the Indian government to provide due assistance to the families of the killed.”
A group of 40 India workers, mostly from Punjab and Bihar, were taken hostage by the ISIS when it invaded Iraq’s second largest city Mosul in 2014. Only Harjit Masih from Gurdaspur managed to escape by faking his identity as a Bangladeshi Muslim. He claimed to have witnessed the massacre of the 39 Indians.