No official has contacted us, say Mosul victims’ families in Bengal

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Kolkata, March 20 (IANS) The bereaved families of two victims in the Mosul tragedy hailing from West Bengal say they learnt of the demise of their kin from the media and not from any government official.

Khokon Sikdar and Samar Tikadar, both hailing from Nadia district, were among the 39 Indian construction workers killed in the Iraqi town after they were abducted by the Islamic State in 2014.

Abhishek Hira, cousin of one of the victims Khokhon Sikdar, said: “We got the tragic news from TV. Till late in the evening, none of the officials from either the centre or the West Bengal government has approached us.

“We are clueless about what we need to do. We have no idea how we c an get hold of his body,” he said.

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He said Sikdar, a carpenter, had left for Mosul in 2014 in the hope of seeing better days.

It was in June the same year that Sikdar’s family heard his voice for the last time.

“He told us that he has been abducted. He sounded nervous and distraught. He said he was not sure whether he would be back among his family,” said Hira.

With their bread earner gone, the future now seems uncertain for Sikdar’s family of four – wife, two daughters and his old and infirm mother.

It was in 2014 that Tikadar had spoken with his family members the last time.

“We haven’t received any phone call even from the government. It was the media which has reported his death,” said a family member.

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