Indian killed in Iraq went through illegal agents: MoS

Arrival of bodies from Iraq: All arrangements in place, says Amritsar DC

The aircraft with the remains of the 38 slain Indians, out of 39, landed at Amritsar from Baghdad around 2:30 pm, they added.

On Monday, Minister of State (Mos) for External Affairs General (retired) VK Singh handed over the bodies of the five deceased from Bihar to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

IS operatives had kidnapped 40 Indian workers employed with a construction firm soon after seizing the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014.

Shyam Kumar Kushwaha, a family member of Adalat Singh, told ANI, "He has a wife, little children and parents at home, and the family needs to be compensated adequately".

He said Punjab government was already giving a monthly pension of Rs. 20 thousand to families of victims.

Around 10,000 Indians were working in Iraq at the time of the surprise IS offensive in 2014, which saw the group capture approximately a third of Iraq's territory.

It was only after Siwan district magistrate Mahendra Kumar and other senior officials intervened and talked to the family members that they accepted the bodies.

Sarwan Singh, the younger brother of Nishan Singh -- who was also killed in Iraq, said the minister's statement was unfortunate.

Singh thanked the authorities in Iraq for their help in locating the victims and exhuming the mortal remains.

The mortal remains were kept at the mortuary in Dr Rajinder Prasad Government Medical College, Tanda, Kangra and government hospital Nurpur before handing over to the families on Tuesday morning. Out of these, 27 belonged to Punjab while four hailed from Himachal Pradesh. They were killed almost a year ago. There was no record of these 40 persons in an embassy. "The government of India did its best to know about the missing Indians", General Singh told reporters.

"Although they went to Iraq illegally, information that they were in trouble was provided to the embassy". Thereafter, digging exercise was started to bring out the mortal remains. Initially, they refused to leave the place, saying they were not in danger.

To a query, he said that had they got any clue about the Indian men, they could have been saved like nurses were saved in Iraq. Then we rescued them.

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