Punjab

Amarinder urges Sushma for financial aid to kin of deceased Iraq hostages

March 20, 2018 10:35 PM

Chandigarh, March 20, 2018: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday asked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to provide all necessary assistance to the families of the hostages killed in Iraq in performing the last rites, along with an ex-gratia relief for them.

The Chief Minister, who wrote to Sushma on the issue, also called her to speak to her personally to ensure that no stone is left unturned by the central government to ensure that the mortal remains of the deceased are brought back to India for the last rites.

Sushma assured Captain Amarinder that the Indian government was making arrangements to bring the last remains in coffins, with due respect being accorded to the deceased. The Chief Minister told her that his government would make arrangements for the coffins to be delivered to the families of the victims for the final rites.

The Chief Minister said he had already directed the state government officials to personally visit the bereaved families to share the sad news.

In his letter to the Union Minister, Captain Amarinder pointed out that 24 of the deceased hailed from Punjab. While the state government had been providing a monthly assistance of Rs 20000, he said he would be grateful if the Centre could also give them due assistance, given the special circumstances surrounding the matter.

Expressing grief at the news, the Chief Minister said it had come as a shock to the families and to everyone else in Punjab, as they had been hoping and praying for the well-being of the hostages, who had been abducted by the ISIS in 2014.

The CM earlier told mediapersons outside the Vidhan Sabha that the deaths of the 39 hostages should have been confirmed by the central government immediately after the lone survivor revealed that the remaining hostages. The families had been living under a pall of uncertainty all these years, which would naturally have aggravated their miseries manifold, he added.

Captain Amarinder also informed the House about the statement made by Sushma  in Parliament and requested the Chair to include their names in the obituary list. The House then paid its homage to the deceased victims as part of the obituary references.

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