SHIMLA: The next of kin of four youths from Himachal Pradesh who were killed in Iraq would be given ex-gratia relief of Rs four lakh each, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur informed the state Assembly today.
The 39 Indians abducted in Iraq in 2014 were killed by Islamic State terrorists and buried in a mass grave, the government told Parliament last week.
Making a suo motu statement in the state Assembly today, Thakur said the four deceased youths from the state were identified as Aman Kumar, Sandeep Singh Rana, Inderjeet, residents of Kangra district and Hemraj of Mandi district.
The Indian government was in constant touch with their Iraqi counterpart but later it came to light that a large number of bodies were buried under a mountain in Badush city and the news was later confirmed by Deep penetration radars, he said.
The state government would make necessary arrangements to send the bodies of four Himachali youths to their respective villages, the chief minister said.
Thakur also informed the House that all efforts were being made to rescue the three Himachali youths -- Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Ajay Kumar -- all from Kangra district, who have been abducted by Nigerian pirates.
He said that Raghuvir Singh, the father of Sushil Kumar, one of the abducted youths, had informed the police that he received a satellite call from his son on March 12 that he along with two other Himachali youths had been kidnapped.
Further, it was also brought to our notice that on March 24, the pirates demanded a ransom to be paid by today, he said, adding that the state government has talked to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and requested her to make efforts to release the abducted youths.