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Posted at: Apr 2, 2018, 1:59 AM; last updated: Apr 2, 2018, 1:58 PM (IST)

Kin told ‘not to open’ Iraq victims’ caskets

Remains to reach Amritsar today
Kin told ‘not to open’  Iraq victims’ caskets
A casket with the remains of one of the Indians killed by the IS being taken for transportation to Baghdad airport on Sunday. AP/PTi

Rachna Khaira

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 1

Punjab-based families of the 38 men killed by the Islamic State militants in the strife-torn Mosul city of Iraq appear aggrieved as some of them have been advised against opening the caskets or having a glimpse of the mortal remains — scheduled to reach Amritsar airport from Iraq on Monday.

The DNA samples of the 39th victim are yet to be matched with his relative.

Minister of State for External Affairs Gen VK Singh (retd) reached Iraq on Sunday to bring home the remains.

Gurpinder Kaur, sister of deceased Manjinder Singh, said they had been told not to open the coffin, as the “remains had been exhumed from a grave and might emit toxic gases” due to embalming. “It is just not possible to cremate it before having a last look. What can possibly happen to us? This is not the end, but the beginning of a never-ending suffering,” she added.

Swaran Singh, brother of Nishan Singh, said though the SDM had asked them not to open the casket, the family had decided to do so. “We’ll open the casket to have a glimpse of the mortal remains of my younger brother, who will be home for his last journey,” he said.

Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Kamaljit Sangha said the remains are expected to reach Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport at 1 pm. “All arrangements have been made to transport the remains with the support of district administrations.”  


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