Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

Indians kidnapped in Iraq's Mosul killed by Islamic State, says Sushma Swaraj

Abducted Indian workers found dead in Iraq Indians kidnapped in Iraq's Mosul killed by Islamic State, says Sushma Swaraj
Patty Aguilar | 20 March, 2018, 08:44

All the 39 Indians abducted by Islamic State in Iraq's Mosul in 2014 were dead, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha on Monday, dashing hopes of families that were desperately hoping for their safe return.

In July 2017, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari had said that there was no "substantial evidence" on whether the Indians were alive or dead and confirmed that their last known location, the prison at Badush, has been destroyed by the Islamic State.

Previous year in July, Swaraj had firmly said in the Parliament that she would not declare the 39 Indians dead without concrete proof or evidence.

In 2014, a group of Indian labourers, mostly from Punjab, Bihar and Himachal was taken hostage by ISIS in Iraq's second largest city Mosul.

General VK Singh will travel to Iraq to bring back the mortal remains of the Indians killed, the foreign minister said.

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The government said it received confirmation yesterday that the DNAs of 38 of the missing Indians had matched with remains found underneath a mass grave, one of many found in and around Mosul and Badush after their liberation from ISIS.

The Union minister said that the bodies of the deceased were exhumed and DNA samples sent for forensic test. "And declaring anyone dead without proof is a sin that I won't commit, "she had said".

Sawraj, while speaking in the Parliament also said that most of the were from Punjab.

The GoI had even asked Iraq for help in locating the missing Indians after Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul from ISIS.

Partap Singh Bajwa, a lawmaker of the main opposition party, referred to media reports that the jail that Sushma Swaraj referred to was in ruins and charged: "She has lost all credibility". What happened was that Harjit escaped with some Bangladeshi prisoners who were kidnapped along with the Indians.

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