Giving financial aid to the families of Punjabi youths abducted by terrorists in Iraq, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar on Tuesday handed over cheques for Rs. 50,000 each to 19 families who had assembled at Teja Singh Samundari Hall here.
Makkar, while handing over the cheques to these families, made it clear that the financial aid will be given only to the kin of 40 youths who have been taken hostage from Mosul in Iraq. Meanwhile, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has also announced to give Rs. 10,000 each to these families.
Makkar said, “We understand the pain which the families are going through. Efforts are on by the central and the state government to get these youths released at the earliest. The SGPC is providing financial aid to their families as they have to incur a lot of expenses”.
To a question, Makkar said, “We have taken the list of the affected families from the government and the financial assistance will be given to the families of all the 40 youths who have been held hostage.”
Sarchand Singh, media advisor of revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who had taken the affected families twice to Delhi to meet external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, was also present on this occasion. He assured the families that persistent efforts were being made to establish contact with the youths who are in the captivity of the ISIS terrorists.
Meanwhile, on behalf of DSGMC, Sarchand Singh and SGPC member advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka handed over cheques for Rs. 10,000 each to the affected families.
NO CONTACT WITH YOUTHS WORRIES US, SAY FAMILIES
Thanking the SGPC for the financial aid, Gurpinder Kaur, whose brother Manjinder Singh is one of the abducted youths in Iraq, said, “The SGPC has helped the families financially. This is fine but the real issue is the whereabouts of the abducted youths. We have held two meetings with (external affairs minister) Sushma Swaraj and assurances are all we have got”.
She further said, “We just want to convey to the government that the families are extremely worried and the fact that there has been no contact with our kin in Iraq since long makes it more frightening for us.”