The mortal remains of Indians were brought by VK Singh on Monday afternoon. All 39 Indians were working at a construction site in Mosul from where they were kidnapped and later killed by the ISIS.
Minitser of State for External Affairs triggered a controversy with his remark that providing jobs and compensations to the families of Indians who were killed by the ISIS was not like “distributing biscuits or a game of football”. The comment prompted the Congress to demand his sacking and termed his remark as shameful. The mortal remains of 38 of the 39 Indians were brought back yesterday by Singh in a special flight from Iraq. The aircraft landed at Amritsar from Baghdad at around 2:30 pm. Bodies were handed over to their families in Amritsar, Kolkata and Patna. All Indians were working at a construction site in Mosul when they were abducted by the ISIS and later killed.
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When Singh was asked about compensation to the families of deceased persons, he refused to make any specific announcement. He said that ‘this is not like distributing biscuits, it involves human lives’. “I don’t carry funds in my pocket (jeb mein koi pitara thodi rakha hua hai),” he added.
Terming Singh’s remark as shameful, reprehensible and unacceptable in a democracy, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that he be sacked immediately from his post. Surjewala said that Singh has no right to continue as a minister even for a single day. He also demanded an apology from Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well for being insensitive towards the families of killed Indians. He said that the Prime Minister must announce Rs 1 crore compensation and a job to each one of these families.
The Congress leader once again chose to accuse External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her deputy of misleading the nation and families of 39 Indians about their whereabouts.
39 Indians were killed in Mosul, Iraq as Modi Govt continuously misled the families & Nation.
Min., V.K.Singh is now rubbing ‘salt on the wounds’ by rubbishing the demands for compensation for the families as akin to demand for ‘biscuits’.
Heartless, Shameful & Reprehensible! pic.twitter.com/52lxJ25T61
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) April 2, 2018
Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien also termed Singh’s remark as insensitive. He said that the minister used inappropriate words.
General Foot in Mouth mantri at it again. Insensitive. “Football” and “Biscuits”… inappropriate words when you are mourning the 39 dead #MosulTragedy Iraq
— Derek O’Brien (@derekobrienmp) April 2, 2018
The Punjab government, where Congress is in power, has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh and a government job to the families of 27 persons who were among 39 Indians. Of the 39, a total of 27 belong to Punjab, 6 are from Bihar, 4 from Himachal Pradesh and two from West Bengal.
Meanwhile, Singh arrived in New Delhi late last night after handing over the bodies. Speaking to reporters here, Singh slammed the Congress for trying to gain political mileage over the deaths. He said that politicising issues that are related to the nation was a petty act.