External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj may have told the Rajya Sabha that the media reports about the killing of the Indians missing in Iraq are unconfirmed, yet it is no relief to the family of Preetpal Sharma (48) of Dhuri, who was also among the 39.
“Since the kidnapping, we have received only assurances,” said Preetpal’s wife, Raj Rani, who lives in a deserted house in ward 8 of Dhuri’s Mahesh Nagar. Entire day, she listens to television news. “My husband is the only breadwinner of the family. For the past five months, he has not sent home a penny. My son had to quit studies an pick up a private job to support the family. Not even a single politician has assured us help,” said Raj Rani.
“We got `50,000 aid from the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee but none from the state government,” said Preetpal’s son, Neeraj, who said he had made five visits to Delhi, three to Chandigarh, and one to Jalandhar to get clue about his father. “We sent a request in June but I don’t think any relief has come yet,” said Dhuri SDM Isha Singhal.
Raj Rani said Preetpal had left for Iraq in August 2011 and last called her on June 15 to say 40 of them were hostage outside a cotton factory in Mosul and the captors were taking them to the airport to put them on a flight back to India. His mobile phone is since switched off.