Gurpinder Kaur Cheem has tweeted about the distress of families of the 39 Indians who have remained untraced after their abduction by the Islamic State in June 2014.
Gurpinder Kaur Cheem indianexpress
For the last two years, she has become the voice and face of the affected families.
The 30-year-old teacher’s brother Manjinder Singh is also among the missing.
According to Gurpinder, she has tried hard to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tell him about the ordeal of the families, but it was without success.
PM Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj newsroompost
“Some time ago, I managed to get the number of a senior official in the PMO and called him. It was my luck that he picked up. I told him that I want to meet Modiji about my brother and the other boys, but he said that I should contact the MEA. After that I have sent many messages over SMS but there has been no response,” she told Indian Express.
She said that her only hope is meeting the Prime Minister as the initial response from Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj was “there is no information from the ministry”.
She said the members of 39 families had last met Swaraj in February, but now they again want to meet her. She also said that she was unaware of PM Modi’s recently trip to Qatar, where he took up the cause of Indian workers, otherwise she would have made an appeal to him to take up the cause of 39 families. Gurpinder also said that her brother Manjinder was determined to go abroad for work and choose Dubai for work, but instead he landed a job in Iraq.
In her police complaint, Gurpinder has alleged that the family paid Rs 2 lakh to Harjit Masih, who claimed to have been abducted with the others but escaped from the place where he said the IS shot the rest dead.
“How long can we believe in the Government’s words? To keep hanging on like this without any information about our boys is impossible. Families are breaking up, they are under too much strain, emotionally, financially. There are old parents waiting, young wives waiting. For how long? How can it be that our intelligence agencies are not good enough to get any information?” she asks.
The government has never been in direct negotiation over the release of the 39 men and so far there is no concrete evidence that they are alive.
But, Swaraj in her annual press conference of May 31, 2015, had announced that she had been told by friendly countries in West Asia that the men were alive.
Two years have gone and such a long period of waiting has taken a toll on the family members of 39 missing Indians.