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Indians killed in Iraq: Harjit Masih asks why govt kept families in the dark for four years

Harjit Masih refused to respond to Sushma Swaraj’s comment that he was lying about the deaths of Indians in Iraq.

punjab Updated: Mar 20, 2018 20:03 IST
Vishal Sally
Vishal Sally
Hindustan Times, Batala
Harjit Masih,ISIS,Indian killed in Iraq
Harjit Masih (ANI file photo)

Sticking to his stand that all his fellow 39 Indians were killed by ISIS, the lone survivor, Harjit Masih once again claimed on Tuesday that all of them were shot dead in front of him.

Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha that she had concrete evidence that Masih was lying.

Though he refused to comment on the statement of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, he said he didn’t want to indulge in any sort of argument with the minister.

“The important thing is that what I said in 2014 has now been confirmed by the Indian government after four years. I wonder why they kept the family members of these 39 Indians in the dark for four years,” said Masih.

“After reaching India in 2014, I narrated the entire incident to various agencies in Delhi and surrounding places for over a year and later when I along with AAP MP Bhagwant Mann narrated the entire incident in front of the media, I was implicated in a false case of human trafficking by the Punjab police. I am a daily labourer and sole breadwinner in my family. I don’t want to enter into any mess-up with the government,” he said.

“If I escaped from the factory using a fake name, then how would I know that all my fellow teammates were dead. I still recall that horrible time when we are kidnapped from our factory by the ISIS. We were forced to sit on our knees in a row and ISIS men opened fire. I received a shot in my right leg and was covered with bodies. I fell unconscious. Next day, when I regained consciousness, I found all my fellow workers dead,” he said.

In early 2016, after Masih gave his statement about the killing of 39 fellow workers, he, along with his cousin brother Rajbir Sing, was arrested by the Punjab police for human trafficking but were later granted bail. Since then, he has been working as construction worker in nearby villages.

First Published: Mar 20, 2018 18:33 IST