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Families of Indians stranded in Iraq to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj again

Sunday, 29 June 2014 - 9:51am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: ANI

  • The families of some of the Indians who are stranded in war-torn Iraq. Reuters

Family members of Indians stranded in war-ravaged Iraq have said they will be leaving for the capital New Delhi on Sunday to meet with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Speaking to ANI, Gurpinder Kaur, the sister of Manjinder Singh, one of the Indians abducted by Iraqi rebels, said, "We are going to meet the External Affairs Minister. We have not got any information (about our relatives) as yet. We will plead with her to bring back my brother who is stranded in Iraq. This is the second time we are going to meet the External Affairs Minister." She added, "If we do not get a satisfactory response, then, we will sit on protest at Jantar Mantar."

Referring specifically to the  Indian government's special envoy to Iraq and former envoy to that country Suresh Reddy, Gurpinder asked, " If Suresh Reddy is not getting any success in his mission, then why are they (the Indian Government) not sending someone else?"

The father of another reported Indian abductee said, " I am going there again. I will plead with them to bring my son back. I think there must be an opportunity in India so that youths do not have to go to work abroad? We want our son back, or else, we will sit on protest at Jantar Mantar." The mother said, " We are going to meet the External Affairs Minister. We are going to meet and try to get information from the minister. We want our son back. We want to know about my son's well being."

On Saturday, it was confirmed that Sushma Swaraj would be meeting again with the family members of stranded Indian workers in Iraq on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning.

The families of stranded Indians have said that they far from satisfied with the progress being made by the Indian government in finding their children in Iraq.

Manjinder Singh is among the 40 Punjabi boys abuducted by Iraqi rebels.

Gurpinder Kaur said that a Punjab Government official had called her to say that the meeting with Swaraj had been fixed for 3.00 pm on Sunday. She said, "After meeting the minister, we will decide about the "dharna" at the "Jantar Mantar".

Hira Lal, the brother of Sonu of Chamunda Devi village, said , " After June 15, they have not received any call from Sonu". He said they are praying for the safe return of all Indians and hoping that the government would escalate their efforts to bring back their children safe and sound.

Meanwhile, Swaraj will be meeting with Indian envoys of the Gulf and West Asia region on Sunday morning to take fresh stock of the escalating crisis in Iraq before she meets with the families of the stranded Indians. Swaraj last met the families on June 18 and assured them of all help. She said then that she was personally monitoring the situation.

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