Paid heavy price for telling truth, says lone survivor from ISIS captivity Harjit Masih
The hope of the families of 39 missing Indians, who have been waiting for them for the last four years, was shattered on Tuesday when Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj informed the Parliament that the missing persons were massacred by ISIS terrorists in Iraq's Mosul.
While the families of the missing persons were loosely lingering on hopes, Harjit Masih who escaped captivity had been consistently telling the authorities about the death of the 39 others.
However, his words were neglected and today he feels overwhelmed that his version of the story has been heard by the MEA.
HARJIT MASIH HAD FAKED HIS IDENTITY TO SAVE HIS LIFE
"I told them that I am Ali from Bangladesh. They had even asked whether I was a Shia or a Sunni Muslim. I told them that I believe in Rabb (Khuda).Those who were killed in front of me had revealed their identity," said Harjit Masih who is a Christian.
Harjit said that hopes that the Indian government officials who had promised him a government job when he was deported to India will fulfill their promise.
Harjit said that he was confined for a year by Indian Government authorities and was compelled not to reveal that the 39 missing Indians were killed at point-blank range in front of him.
PAYING A PRICE FOR TRUTH
"I paid a heavy price for telling the truth. Now everybody believes me. The families of 39 missing Indians have moved against me in the court. I was kept in custody for a year and was promised a job which has not been given yet," said Harjit.
When asked why Sushma Swaraj did not believe him earlier, Harjit said he was overwhelmed "That now she has believed him. I had told the same story three years back to the Indian officials who helped him evacuate from troubled Iraq.
"Nobody was ready to believe me that they (ISIS) killed them in front of my eyes. They had divided Indians and Bangladeshis into two groups and killed Indians. I pretended to be dead and lied among the dead Indians till they left. I ran away and boarded a taxi which handed over me to them. I saved myself by faking my identity," said Harjit.
THE BEREAVED FAMILIES
A pall of gloom descended over entire Punjab no sooner did the families learn about the Mosul mass grave from where the bodies of 39 Indians were exhumed.
"We were given a false hope that they might be alive. We did everything. Gave blood samples, went to meet Sushma Swaraj. He (Kamaljit) used to come in my dreams. I hoped till yesterday that Kamaljit was alive. Now everything has been lost, there is no hope. They say the bodies have been recovered from a grave. How will we recognise him? I was hoping that he will return alive and we will go to Delhi to receive him," says 27-year-old Kamaljit's mother Santosh Kumari.
Kamaljit had left Hoshiarpur in 2013 for better employment opportunities in Iraq. He was the third son of his family. His brothers, Parwinder and Daljeet, work in Dubai as air conditioner mechanics. Kamaljit's family heard from him last on the night of June 15, 2017, when he called them.
"I was in Hoshiarpur when Kamaljit had called around midnight. This was his last call. He had informed that they have been abducted and their hands are tied and are being moved elsewhere. Their passports and mobile phones were also snatched. They were told they will get them back once the fight is over," Kamaljit's father Prem Singh said.
Kamaljit's mother, shocked to learn about the loss, collapsed multiple times. Another missing person Gurdeep Singh's mother Surinder Kaur, who was inconsolable with grief, had to be rushed to a hospital in Hoshiarpur.