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Iraqi city freed from ISIS: Day after, families from Punjab fail to contact men missing in Mosul

The terror group is believed to have kidnapped 39 youths, most of them from Punjab.

india Updated: Jul 10, 2017 22:10 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
(AFP File Photo/Representative Image)

A day after Iraqi forces freed the city of Mosul from ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), the families of Punjabi youths, missing since June 2014, on Monday failed to make any contact with them or get clue about their whereabouts.

The terror group is believed to have kidnapped 39 youths, most of them from Punjab.

The anxious families said they have been calling the ministry of external affairs (MEA) for updates about the youths and one of them was told that minister of state for external affairs Gen VK Singh (retd) is being sent to Iraq to trace the Indians and facilitate their return.

Talking to HT, Gurpinder Kaur of Bhoewal village in Amritsar who is waiting for the return of her brother Manjinder Singh, said, “I called the MEA office and was told about VK Singh’s visit. We have no other information. We are just looking up to the MEA to make efforts and bring back all 39 missing since June 2014.”

She thanked Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh for speaking to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj who assured him that all efforts were being made to trace the Indians and even her junior minister Gen VK Singh (retd) was sent to Iraq to coordinate with their government.

“I along with many other families have been trying to call on their phone numbers in Iraq we did not get through. We have haven’t spoken to them since June 2014, she added.

Harbhajan Kaur of Babbowal village in Amritsar, whose son Harsimranjit Singh is one among the missing youths, said, “Some families contacted the MEA and we were told that Indian government has sent its representatives to Iraq. We are hopeful that the Indians will be back soon. We have gone through a lot of ordeal in the last three years. Our hopes now are on the MEA.”

The families have met Sushma Swaraj at least 10 times. Last time, they met her in June and were told that all the men were safe in Mosul.

First Published: Jul 10, 2017 21:56 IST