Two Nadia women happy over Baghdadi death

People look at a destroyed house near the village of Barisha, in Idlib province, Syria, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, after an operation by the U.S. military which targeted Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of the Islamic State group. (AP/PTI)

The news of the death of ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a secret air raid by US special force in Syria has been welcomed by two hapless widows in a faraway Bengal district.

The husbands of the two women from Nadia district were among the 39 workers who were kidnapped by the terrorist outfit in June, 2014 and killed at Basood in Iraq. Their mass grave was found four long years later at Mosul in 2018 and time has not lessened the hatred the women have for the IS.

One of the two women said she is happy with the destruction of militant camps, while the other said Baghdadi should have killed earlier and with more cruelty.

US President Donald Trump had on Sunday announced that the elusive leader of the "ruthless" Islamic State and the world's number one terrorist died "like a dog and like a coward".

Trump said the US Special Operations forces conducted the "daring and dangerous night time raid and "accomplished their mission in grand style". Baghdadi spent his last moments "whimpering and crying and screaming" in a dead-end tunnel before he blew himself up, killing also his three children.

Namita Sikdar, the widow on Khokon Sikdar - a mason from Tehatta in Nadia district said "I came to know about killing of Baghdadi from the TV. I am very happy. My husband was killed with 38 others and IS was behind it. They (IS) have killed thousands of innocent people. I am happy that militant camps are being destroyed throughout the world. It will save the lives of many people in future."

Dipali Tikadar of Chapra, who had lost her husband Samar Tikadar - an electrician from Chapra in the same incident, was unaware of Baghdadi's death and came to know of it from the correspondent.

"This killing (of Baghdadi) was required long ago. Had it taken place earlier it could have saved many people," she said.

Expressing her anger against her husband's killers, she said "Baghdadi's killing should have been crueler as he had killed a huge number of people."

DNA tests on the remains found in the mass grave had confirmed the death of the two men from Nadia. The then minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj had taken the initiative to bring back the remains to India and hand it over to their kin.

The two families are poor and the women are the earning members. Post the desth of their husbands they were given the job of cooks in the ICDS scheme. But with a meagre pay of only Rs 5300 per month, they struggle to feed their families and educate their children.

Dipali, who is a mother of two school-going girls, said "Didi (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) had told us that she would provide us government jobs after the election. But four years have passed and two elections have been held but we are in the same state".

Namita too is a mother of two and shares the same hand-to-mouth existence. She echoed that promises that Banerjee had made to her is yet to be kept.

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