‘For officials, we’re photo-op’ | punjab | Hindustan Times
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‘For officials, we’re photo-op’

Eight Doaba families have waited more than five months for the update on their members taken captive in Iraq. Even after Thursday’s terrifying reports on television, they hope for the best.

punjab Updated: Nov 29, 2014 10:42 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
The-family-of-Balwant-Rai-holding-on-to-hope-and-grief-at-Dhadhe-village-in-Jalandhar-district-Pardeep-Pandit-HT
The-family-of-Balwant-Rai-holding-on-to-hope-and-grief-at-Dhadhe-village-in-Jalandhar-district-Pardeep-Pandit-HT

Eight Doaba families have waited more than five months for the update on their members taken captive in Iraq. Even after Thursday’s terrifying reports on television, they hope for the best.


“My husband’s pay was our only source of income. Since the last call from him on June 15, when he told us he had been kidnapped from Mosul, life is hell,” said Usha, wife of Surjit Singh of Churwal village in Adampur subdivision of Jalandhar district.

Many families rue that the local administration has been of little support. “Initially, when it was a big newsbreak, the local officials would come over to click photographs with us in the name of sympathy. Over the last four months, none has asked us how we are?” said Jaswinder Kumar, brother of captive Balwant Rai, 52, of Dhadde village.

The families are disappointed even with the External Affairs Ministry. “The local officers ignored us. When we ask them to make some effort to contact the Indian government, they tell us to shut up or we could be in trouble,” said Shindo, mother of Kulwinder Singh of Khan-ke Fatehgarh village of Kartarpur area. Kulwinder also made the last call to his wife on June 15, telling her he had been taken hostage.

Bakhshish Singh, father of Jasvir Singh (27) of Mehandpur-Jainpur village near Balachaur in Nawanshahr district, said that his son had gone to Mosul as construction worker.