Bodies of four IS victims from HP to be cremated on Tuesday

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Shimla, April 2 (IANS) The mortal remains of four construction workers hailing from Himachal Pradesh — whose bodies were flown in from Iraq to Amritsar in Punjab — will be taken to their native places late Monday and consigned to flames a day later, officials said.

Aman Kumar, 27, Inderjeet, 26, and Sandeep Kumar, 38, all from Kangra district, and Hem Raj, 32, of Mandi district were among the 39 Indians who were killed by the Islamic State terror group in Mosul in Iraq in 2014.

The body of Sandeep Kumar will be kept in a mortuary at Nurpur town, while those of Inderjeet and Aman Kumar will be kept at Dharamsala town on Monday night. The remains would be handed over their families on Tuesday.

The body of Hem Raj will be sent directly to Sundernagar town in Mandi district.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh had accompanied the mortal remains of 38 Indians back home.

The coffins carrying the remains of 31 victims — 27 from Punjab and four from Himachal Pradesh — were handed over to respective authorities at the Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport in Amritsar, seven coffins were shifted to another aircraft to be flown to West Bengal (3) and Bihar (4).

Himachal’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister Kishan Kapoor was among those present at the airport to receive the coffins, along with officials of the other states to which the victims belonged.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had informed Parliament on March 20 that all 39 Indian construction workers kidnapped in 2014 from Mosul have been killed.

The Minister had earlier said that she will not consider them dead unless there was proof in this regard, rejecting lone survivor Harjit Masih’s claim that the captives were shot dead.

Masih had claimed to have escaped from the clutches of the terror group in June 2014.

–IANS

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