A picture taken on July 9, 2017, shows smoke billowing following an airstrike by US-led international coalition forces targeting Islamic State (IS) group in Mosul.(AFP PHOTO)
A picture taken on July 9, 2017, shows smoke billowing following an airstrike by US-led international coalition forces targeting Islamic State (IS) group in Mosul.(AFP PHOTO)

Iraqi city freed from ISIS: Kin of Punjabis stuck in Mosul want Centre to evacuate them soon

As most of the youths, who have not made any contact with their families ever since, belong to Punjab, their families here now want the Indian government to take urgent measures to bring them back.
By Aseem Bassi | Hindustan Times, Amritsar, Amritsar
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2017 08:42 PM IST

With the Iraqi forces freeing Mosul from ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a glimmer of hope has emerged for the families from Punjab and elsewhere who are waiting for the return of 39 youths the terror group kidnapped in June 2014.

As most of the youths, who have not made any contact with their families ever since, belong to Punjab, their families here now want the Indian government to take urgent measures to bring them back.

YOUTH FROM PUNJAB AND OTHER AREA STUCK IN MOSUL

Manjinder Singh, Bhoewal village (Amritsar)

Jatinder Singh, Sialka village (Amritsar)

Harsimranjit Singh, Babbowal village (Amritsar)

Sonu, Chawinda Devi village (Amritsar)

Gurcharan Singh, Jalal Usma village (Amritsar)

Kawaljit Singh, Roopa Wali (Batala)

Nishan Singh, Sangowana village (Amritsar)

Harish Kumar, Batala

Malkit Singh, Batala

Ranjit Singh, Manawala (Amritsar)

Rakesh, Qadian (Gurdaspur)

Govinder Singh, Murar village (Kapurthala)

Dharminder Kumar, Talwandi Jhira village (Gurdaspur)

Balwant Rai, Dhadde village (Jalandhar)

Kamaljit Singh, Choni Kalan village (Hoshiarpur)

Gurdeep Singh, Jaidpur village (Hoshiarpur)

Kulwinder Singh, Khanke village (Jalandhar)

Roop Lal, Baath Kalan village (Jalandhar)

Surjit Mainka, Churu Wali village (Jalandhar)

Davinder Singh, Chak Deshraj village (Jalandhar)

Ravinder Kumar, Jagatpur

Pritpal Sharma, Dhuri (Sangrur)

Aman Kumar, Himachal Pradesh

Inderjit, Himachal Pradesh

Sandeep Kumar, Himachal Pradesh

Vidhya, Bihar

Santosh Kumar, Bihar

Gurpinder Kaur of Bhoewal village in Amritsar, whose brother Manjinder Singh is among those stuck in Mosul, said, “If the Iraqi forces have really succeeded in getting Mosul free from the ISIS, it is a great news for us. Now, the Indian government should not take even 24 hours to act and get back them back as soon as possible.”

These families have already met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at least 12 times to seek her intervention. Gurpinder said, “Last time, when we met the minister, we were told that the government was aware of the location of all 39 persons. They had even said once the area is freed from ISIS, the government will be able to establish contact with them.”

If they have tried to make contact with Manjinder since, she said his phone stopped working 10-12 days before they lost contact with him in June 2014.

Harbhajan Kaur of Babbowal village in the district, who too is waiting for her 26-year-old son Harsimranjit Singh’s return, said, “Harsimranjit went to work in Iraq in 2013 but we just want him back. We went to meet Sushma Swaraj last month and she assured us that all the boys were safe and they will be evacuated once Mosul is freed. We hope the government does the needful immediately.”

Seema of Chawinda Devi village near Majitha in the district, who is waiting for her husband Sonu, said, “This has given us hope. Union minister Sushma Swaraj had assured us that once things normalise in Mosul, the government will bring everyone back.”

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