"All necessary arrangements have been made to transport the mortal remains of 31 Indians killed in Iraq, who hail from different places in Punjab and Himachal, to their native places when the bodies reach tomorrow," Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha said on Monday.
Last month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had told Parliament that 40 Indians were abducted by ISIS from Mosul in Iraq in June 2014, but one of them escaped posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh. The remaining 39 were taken to Badoosh and killed, she had said.
Of the Indian citizens killed by the terrorist organisation, 27 belonged to Punjab while four hailed from Himachal Pradesh.
"As per the information we have received, the bodies are expected to reach the international airport at Amritsar at around 1:30 pm tomorrow," Sangha told PTI over the phone.
According to the schedule, Union Minister Singh will reach Amritsar followed by Patna and Kolkata to hand over bodies to the relatives, officials said.
Sangha said he held a meeting yesterday with various stake-holders involved in the process of smooth handing over of the bodies to the relatives. "Those who took part in the meeting included director of the Amritsar international airport, officials of the customs, immigration, CISF, police, IAF and bureau of civil aviation," he said.
The Amritsar DC also spoke to his counterparts in other districts in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
Arrangements for ambulances and other vehicles for ferrying the coffins to the native places have been made by the respective district administration with all necessary assistance extended by the authorities in Amritsar, he said.
"As it is a sombre occasion and to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the grieving relatives, we have made arrangements so that there is no chaos at the airport. The bodies will be brought out from a different exit passage," he said.
Eight victims belonged to twin districts of Amritsar and adjoining Tarn Taran.
Meanwhile, family members of the 39 Indians massacred by ISIS were still trying to come to terms with the grim reality.
Dimplejeet Kaur, sister of Dharminder Kumar (27), said he was the sole bread winner supporting a large family.
"All our hopes are dashed now; we are heart broken," she said.
Kumar went to Iraq to earn for his family in 2014. He was a resident of village Talwandi Jhira in Gurdaspur district.
Among the 39 Indians, most were from different places in Punjab like Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Jalandhar.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of budget session of the state Assembly over a week ago, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had promised adequate compensation by the state government for the families of the Iraq victims. He also demanded that the Centre also compensate the victims since the tragedy occurred overseas.
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