As the mortal remains of 39 Indian nationals killed in Iraq's Mosul city by Islamic State militants arrived in India 's Amritsar on Monday, kin of victims allege that they have been directed not to open the caskets.
A grieving family member told The Tribune that they were advised by the authority to not open to coffin as they may emit "toxic gases".
"It is just not possible to cremate it before having a last look. What can possibly happen to us?" the paper quoted a kin as saying. Many people, however, have refused to follow the orders.
The remains of the victims had been exhumed from a grave.
Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh had left for Iraq yesterday to bring back the mortal remains of the 39 Indians, killed in the war-torn country.
Out of these, 27 belonged to Punjab while four hailed from Himachal Pradesh.
In the wake of a bandh called by a number of Dalit organizations today to protest the alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has urged the protestors not to take the law in their own hands and, in particular, not to impede rood and rail transport in any way.
Amarinder has appealed to the protestors to let the mortal remains of the Iraq victims be ferried to their native villages without any hindrance.
Earlier this month, Swaraj had told Parliament that as many as 40 Indians were abducted by terror group ISIS from Mosul in Iraq in June 2014, but one of them escaped posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh.
The remaining 39 Indians were taken to Badoosh and killed, she had said.