News By/Courtesy: Himani Aggarwal | 09 Apr 2018 1:58am IST

Harjit Masih of Punjab, the only survivor among the 40 Indian men kidnapped in Mosul in Iraq by the Islamic State in 2014, says that after his return to India, he was told by “officials of government agencies” not to tell anyone about the death of the other hostages.

In an interview with Hrjit Masih, he explained the whole scenario which occurred in Mosul when the workers were made hostages. He said that they were crammed under a truck and were taken somewhere unknown. They were asked to kneel down after which they starting firing on them, however, he managed to save his life. After he came back to his senses he saw all the 39 fellow workers dead.

After facing many problems on the way he finally managed to reach an Iraqi Army checkpoint in Erbil from where he was able to make contact with the Indian Embassy. Later, embassy officials escorted him. They also tried to speak to people at the embassy in Baghdad. Their manager Harish made phone calls to the embassy many times, apprising them that workers are stuck. To their surprise, the terrorists offered help, saying they would help them go to Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. They never felt threatened during their hostage, but, then after two days, things changed. They (Indians) and Bangladeshi laborers were asked to hand over their passports. After this, they were loaded in a truck and sent somewhere.

After returning to India, he was taken into custody by some government agency which he was unaware of. He was kept hidden from everyone and the agency in whose custody he was made him believe the fact that revealing his identity and confessing that all the Indian hostages in Iraq were dead will put him and his family into danger as the family members of those “dead” workers could get infuriated.

They promised him a normal life and kept on telling him that he will be given the training to earn his daily bread but anything did not happen like that. He was falsely charged under section 370 & 420 of Indian Penal Code for human trafficking in the year 2016.

Now that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that the 39 abducted Indian workers were killed and their bodies have been recovered, he urged the government to help him and get the case of human trafficking registered against him withdrawn.

Now that he is out on bail now his financial situation is more than worst. He works as a seasonal daily wage worker where he has a job one day and no job the other day and he earns only 300 rupees in a day. His mother cleans utensils in others houses, his siblings work at neighborhood houses to make ends meet. He pleaded the government to provide him with a job which could suffice his daily needs.

Editor: Krishna Srinivas V | 09 Apr 2018 10:36am IST

Tags : #IndianHostagesinIraq

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