Want to see my husband’s face one last time, says wife of man killed in Iraq | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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Want to see my husband’s face one last time, says wife of man killed in Iraq

His mother says they had sent him to Iraq after taking a loan of Rs 2.5 lakh, which is yet to be repaid.

punjab Updated: Mar 21, 2018 17:12 IST
Parampreet Singh Narula and Harpreet Kaur
Surjit’s widow, Usha (centre), was inconsolable and broke into tears several times following confirmation by Sushma Swaraj that his husband had been killed in Iraq.
Surjit’s widow, Usha (centre), was inconsolable and broke into tears several times following confirmation by Sushma Swaraj that his husband had been killed in Iraq.(Pardeep Pandit/HT)

Grief and anger descended on the house of Surjit Singh Mainka, 30, after media persons broke the news to his family in Jalandhar.

Surjit, a carpenter by profession and the lone breadwinner of his family comprising his mother, wife and a 7-year-old son, had tried his luck abroad twice before his Iraq mission, but this time he never came back. Harbans Kaur, Surjit’s mother, says they had sent him to Iraq after taking a loan of Rs 2.5 lakh, which is yet to be repaid. “After the death of my husband, Surjit was the last hope for the family,” she cried.

Earlier, Surjit had been duped by travel agents on two occasions. His mother says the first time, the agent had promised to send him to Iraq, and the second time to Dubai.

Surjit’s widow, Usha, was inconsolable and broke into tears several times. Her constant refrain was, “I want to see my husband’s face one last time.”

“We don’t have any source of income to repay the debt, which has multiplied. The government should financially help the family and continue giving the financial assistance of ₹20000,” said Surjit’s uncle Kindar Lal, while adding that they had stopped getting the monthly aid ever since the Congress government came to power.

Surjit Singh Mainka

Family members of Balwant Rai, 54, one of the 39 men killed in Iraq, demanded that the government share more details with them. “We were kept in dark by the government for the last four years. They did not share the truth with us. They should now tell us what actually happened to my father,” said Balwant’s son Sonu.

Balwant, who went to work in an Iraqi factory in 2010, is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter, who is married. Jaswinder Kumar, his elder brother, urged the government to provide financial help to the family as Balwant was its sole breadwinner.

Faint hope gone

Santosh Kumari, mother of Kamaljit Singh, refused to believe that her son was no more. On hearing the tragic news at her house in Chhauni Kalan near Hoshiarpur, she fell unconscious and was rushed to a hospital.

Her husband Prem Singh was also numb with shock. The heart-broken woman regained consciousness but the faint hope of safe return of his son was gone forever.

The uncertainty that surrounded the fate of Kamaljit had jolted the family in more ways than one. The financial crisis deepened which took a toll on their personal relationships. Kamaljit’s wife moved to her parents along with her two kids. Their younger son, Parvinder Singh Lucky, had to find employment in Saudi Arabia to make ends meet.

Another victim Gurdip Singh’s family in Jaitpur village was critical of the Union government. “Had the government intervened on time, all trapped persons would have been back safe,” said his wife Anita, who has been struggling to raise their two kids.