Bodies of Indians killed in Iraq to reach Amritsar today

Bodies of Indians killed in Iraq to reach Amritsar today

The mortal remains of 31 of the 39 Indians killed in Iraq will arrive at Amritsar International airport on Monday in a special aircraft, said officials.

The aircraft with the bodies of the 31 slain Indians, who hailed from different places in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, is expected to reach Amritsar by 1.30 pm, they added.

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh had left for Iraq on Sunday to bring back the mortal remains of the 39 Indians, killed in the war-torn country.

Out of these, 27 belonged to Punjab while four hailed from Himachal Pradesh.

While the remains of the men belonging to Punjab and Himachal Pradesh would be received at the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International airport in Amritsar, the rest of the bodies would be flown to their respective places in Patna and Kolkata to be handed over to their relatives.

Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu will receive the bodies on behalf of the state government at the airport, the officials said.

The administration has made arrangements of ambulances for transporting the coffins to their native places in Punjab, an official said.

In the wake of a bandh called by a number of Dalit organisations on Monday to protest the dilution of the SC/ST Act, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has urged the protesters not to take the law in their own hands and, in particular, not to impede rood and rail transport in any way.

Amarinder has appealed to the protestors to let the mortal remains of the Iraq victims be ferried to their native villages without any hindrance.

He has also directed the Punjab Police to provide strict security for the same along the routes, from the airport to the respective native villages of the victims.

Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had told Parliament that as many as 40 Indians were abducted by terror group IS from Mosul in Iraq in June 2014, but one of them escaped posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh.

The remaining 39 Indians were taken to Badoosh and killed, she had said.

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