Sidhu announces compensation, jobs to families of Indians killed in Iraq belonging to Punjab

The cricketer-turned-politician also said that the current pension of Rs 20,000 given to each family will be continued.

Sidhu announces compensation, jobs to families of Indians killed in Iraq belonging to Punjab

AMRITSAR: Shortly after the mortal remains of 38 Indians killed in Iraq arrived at Amritsar, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and job for one person to be given per family.

The cricketer-turned-politician also said that the current pension of Rs 20,000 given to each family will be continued.

"Ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh per family, job for one person per family will be given and current pension of Rs 20,000 to continue," said the Punjab Minister.

A special aircraft carrying the mortal remains of 38 Indians from Iraq's Mosul arrived at the Amritsar International Airport. The aircraft with the remains of the 38 slain Indians, out of 39, landed at Amritsar from Baghdad around 2:30 pm.

A group of 40 Indian workers, mostly from Punjab, were taken hostage by ISIS when it overran Iraq's second largest city Mosul in 2014. One of them escaped by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said in a statement in Rajya Sabha. The other 39 are dead and their bodies have been recovered, she had added. 

The EAM had further said that the bodies of the slain Indians were recovered from Badosh, a village northwest of Mosul and their identities had been established through DNA testing.

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh had left for Iraq on Sunday to bring back the mortal remains of the Indians. While the remains of the 31 men belonging to Punjab and Himachal Pradesh were received at the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport in Amritsar, the rest of the bodies would be flown to their respective places in Patna and Kolkata to be handed over to their relatives.

Out of these, 27 belonged to Punjab while four hailed from Himachal Pradesh.

Earlier this month, Swaraj had told Parliament that as many as 40 Indians were abducted by terror group ISIS from Mosul in Iraq in June 2014, but one of them escaped posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh. The remaining 39 Indians were taken to Badoosh and killed, she had said.

(With inputs from PTI)