New Delhi: The Minister of State for External Affairs, VK Singh who arrived Amritsar on Monday, said that all 39 Indians who were killed in Mosul went to Iraq illegally. Singh was on a visit to Iraq to bring mortal remains of the deceased.
“We have run a campaign to tell people not to go through illegal agents. One should not say so, but these 40 people had no record with any embassy, they went through an illegal agent. When you go through an illegal agent half the time we don’t know who went where” he said.
The minister, while addressing the media also made some insensitive remarks when asked whether the kin of deceased would be given jobs. “This is not a game of football. Both the state and central governments are sensitive governments. The External Affairs Ministry had asked the families for the details of their members who can be given jobs etc. We will review,” he said.
Singh was also asked about a ‘compensation or relief’ to the families who lost their lives in the war-hit country, Singh said ‘giving compensation is not the same as distributing biscuits’.
“Yeh admiyon ki zindagi ka sawal hai, aa gayi baat samajh mein? Main abhi elaan kahan se karoon? Jeb mein koi pitaara thodi rakha hua hai (This is about the lives of several men. How can I make an announcement? I don’t have a magic wand),” he said.
On March 20, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj informed the Rajya Sabha members in the Parliament that the 39 Indian nationals, who went missing in Mosul in 2014, were killed by the terror outfit Islamic State (IS). Of those who got killed, most of them belonged to Punjab and were kidnapped while working on projects near Mosul.