Nitish Kumar to receive remains of Indians killed by IS in Mosul
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday evening will receive the mortal remains of five of the 38 Indians, who were abducted and killed by Islamic State terrorists at Mosul in Iraq in June 2014.
The special aircraft of the Indian Air Force, C-130, carrying the coffins, is expected to reach Patna around 8pm, Patna airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria said.
Kumar is expected to lay a wreath on the coffins at the airport.
The state government, in coordination with the Airports Authority of India (AAI), has made all arrangements for receiving the coffins.
“We have arranged five vehicles to ferry the coffins to the native places of the victims in Siwan. We have also arranged for police escort,” said Patna district magistrate Kumar Ravi, who is supervising the operations here.
The government held a meeting on Saturday with the AAI, the Central Industrial Security Force, police, immigration and customs to make arrangements for the remains of the victims.
“The IAF special aircraft will park on the main tarmac and the coffins will be brought to the adjoining Bihar hangar, where the state CM will receive them. After completion of formalities at the airport, they will be sent to Siwan.” Ravi said.
Airport officials said the timing of the aircraft’s arrival could vary slightly as the coffins are being flown from Iraq to Amritsar after which they will be brought to Patna and Kolkata.
“Paper work could take a couple of hours before the coffins are moved to Siwan,” said a government official. The coffins are expected to reach Siwan, 135 km north-west of Patna, past midnight.
The Patna DM said relatives of the victims had not contacted them yet. “We will hand over the coffins of the victims to their kin, with evidence (DNA test report), in Siwan so that they have no doubts,” he said.
Minister of state for external affairs Gen VK Singh, who will accompany the mortal remains, will leave here for Kolkata.
Gen Singh, before leaving for Mosul on Sunday, had said that mortal remains of only 38 Indians would be brought back to India, as one man’s case was pending there.
The 39 persons, most of whom hailed from Punjab, were working on projects near Mosul when they were kidnapped. Of those killed by the terrorist outfit, 27 belonged to Punjab, four from Himachal Pradesh, five from Bihar and two from West Bengal.
On March 20, external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj had told Parliament that 40 Indians were abducted by terror outfit Islamic State from Mosul in Iraq in June 2014, but one of them escaped posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh. The remaining 39 were taken to Badoosh and killed, she had said.