Indian workers kidnapped by Islamic State in Iraq confirmed dead

Indian workers kidnapped by Islamic State in Iraq confirmed dead

Indian workers kidnapped by Islamic State in Iraq confirmed dead

The 39 Indians who had been "missing" in Iraq's Mosul area for over three years, were killed by ISIS and dumped in a mass grave, announced Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday in parliament.

After years of uncertainty about the fate of 39 Indians abducted by the Islamic State in Iraq in 2014, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has confirmed they are dead.

Sushma said on Tuesday that she had repeatedly told the families that "I have no evidence of their being either dead or alive" - the equanimous position that governments and defence forces usually adopt to ensure that false hopes are not raised.

Swaraj said that after the Daesh was overthrown, Singh, her deputy and Minister of State for External Affairs, visited Iraq in search of the missing Indians.

According to her, the caterer had said he had dropped the Bangladeshi men and Masih in his van to the Erbil border in northern Iraq from where Masih spoke to her. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that Swaraj has been misleading the Parliament and the families of the victims. "We were always told us that they (39 Indians) were alive", Kaur told ANI, adding that "we don't demand anything from the government".

The reveal comes in the wake of several mass graves being found in Mosul in July 2017, after it was liberated from the ISIS. Of the 40 Indians, Harjit Masih from Gurdaspur had managed to escape and had claimed to have witnessed the massacre of the others.

Until October previous year, both India and Iraq had contended that the 39 people were alive.

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The Minister said told the media DNA samples of 38 people have been matched, verification of one victim is under process.

"It would have been a sin had we handed over anybody's body claiming it to be those of our people, just for the sake of closing files", Sushma said. Government will send a special aircraft for bringing the dead bodies with proper documentation along with their identities.

Among them 06 are from Bihar, 04 are from Himachal Pradesh and 02 are from West Bengal.

In June'14, 40 Indians were taken hostage outside the Iraqi city of Mosul by the ISIS.

In the morning, Sushma Swaraj confirmed the death of 39 missing India who were kidnapped by IS in Mosul in 2014.

"We recovered ID cards, long hair, kada and some non-Iraqi footwear", Swaraj said. She said the bodies would be taken straight to whichever part of the country they were from.

Refuting claims of mistreatment made by Masih, an Indian labourer who had gone to Iraq for work, Swaraj said he was never harassed by the government and that he was kept in protective custody.

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