Not believing the television reports in which two Bangladeshis quoted Gurdaspur’s Harjit Masih as saying that 39 Indians missing in Iraq were dead, the families who wait for the loved ones want to hear it from the Indian government and Harjit.
Gurpinder Kaur is worried about her brother, Manjinder Singh, who is stuck in the Islamic-militia-seized Gulf country. “Whatever Harjit has told the Bangladeshis I know and I don’t believe it. I want the India government to make a clear statement and put us in touch with Harjit, if he is in its safe custody,” she said.
“The Indian government has delayed things. Today when Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has accepted that Harjit is back, why can’t we talk with him, ask him about the 39 people?” said the concerned sister, who has taken all the families to the minister many times, and every time received only assurance.
The families last spoke with the missing people in June. Seema has faith that her husband, Sonu, will be back. “I do not believe the Thursday night news reports but these things scare us definitely,” she said. Sonu of Chawinda Devi village had gone to Iraq for a better future. “We have met the external affairs minister six times, and she has assured us that all 39 will return safely. After the terrifying news reports, we want the government to come out with more clarity,” said Sialka villager Ranjit Kaur, missing her son, Jatinder Singh.
Sardara Singh of Jalal Usma village and his son, Gurcharan Singh, are stuck in Iraq. “We have been seeking clarity for months but the government is not helping us. The news reports, though untrustworthy, have disturbed us,” says Gurcharan’s wife. Thefamilies want to meet Sushma Swaraj again to get to Harjit Masih.