This refers to the report, “SushmaSwaraj confirms 39 Indians killed in Mosul; VK Singh says bodies to be brought back within 10 days” (National, March 21, 2018). The Indian foreign ministry should have chosen its words with more sensitivity while dealing with the relatives of the 39 Mosul hostages. As a matter of fact, false assurances can only add insult to injury. It is indeed true that the government cannot say that the hostages are dead without proof. Also, following the same logic, it should not have assured the family members of the victims that the men were safe without proof either.
Now, what is the common link of all those 39 men who were kidnapped and then killed in Iraq? We see that all of them are the workers who went to Iraq from India in search of livelihoods. As a matter of fact, there is always a common link between all the victims of hate crimes. The poor – a labourer, a cobbler, a butcher, a mason, a carpenter, a hawker ~ are easy prey for religious terrorists. It has been reported that over 80 persons who have traditionally done carcass removal in rural India were killed by cow vigilantes.
KhokonSikder, a carpenter hailing from Nadia district of West Bengal and Afrazul Khan, a mason hailing from Malda district of West Bengal had fallen prey to religious terrorists ~ one in Iraq and the other in India. The former had gone to Iraq for livelihood and was killed with other 38 workers by rabid religious terrorists namely ISIS. The latter went to Rajasthan for the same reason and struggled hard to support his family with a daily income of about Rs 400 to Rs 500 and was hacked to death and burnt by a lone assassin who made inflammatory comments laced with religious hatred. Indeed, work is the religion of both Khokon and Afrazul and hatred is the religion of their killers.
Sujit De, Kolkata