Gurdaspur (Punjab): Health authorities here on Saturday collected DNA samples of family members of three of the 39 Indians missing in Iraq. The health department constituted a committee comprising duty magistrate Wariam Singh, pathologist Vijay Kumar and laboratory technician Malkiat Singh to conduct their DNA test.
Ram Lal, the Gurdaspur civil surgeon, said the deputy commissioner directed the health department to conduct the DNA tests of the families of the missing youths to ascertain their identities. The samples will be sent to the forensic laboratory in Hyderabad, he said.
The team collected DNA samples of Raj Kumar and his wife Kanwaljit Kaur, parents of Dharminder Kumar, a resident of Talwandi Jhaura village; Harbhajan Singh and his wife Mohinder Kaur, parents of Kanwaljit Singh, a resident of Rupowali; and Sukhdev Singh and his wife Niral Singh, parents of Malkiat Singh, the official said. From Gurdaspur, five youths had gone to Iraq in 2014. The family members of the fourth youth, Harish Kumar, had since shifted to Amritsar.
While the fifth youth, Harjit Masih, a resident of Kala Afghana, had managed to return to India after giving the slip to ISIS militants after being shot in his feet in 2014. Meanwhile, in Amritsar, family members of the missing Indians said they were not told why they were asked to undergo DNA test. They were asked to come to the government medical college in Amritsar for the test. But they have now been asked to come again on Monday.
Gurwinder Kaur, a resident of village Mehta of Amritsar district, said, "I fail to understand why the government has asked us to go for DNA test whereas we were assured that my brother will come back safe and sound one day." Kaur's brother Manjinder Singh was among the missing Indians.
A total of 39 Indians had been missing in Iraq since 2014. Among them, 22 were from Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Jalandhar in Punjab.