Indians kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq dead, says Sushma Swaraj

Indians kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq dead, says Sushma Swaraj

Indians kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq dead, says Sushma Swaraj

A couple of weeks ago Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh had said that the Govt had started the DNA test of the workers. Swaraj cited ID cards, long hair and kada bracelets-traditionally worn by Sikh men-found on the bodies as further evidence that the men had been found.

Daesh* abducted 40 Indians in Mosul, Iraq in June 2014. The bodies were then sent to Baghdad for DNA testing. At that time, all agencies were telling that they were killed.

Iraqi official Najiha Abdul-Amir al-Shimari called the killing a "heinous crime carried out by Daesh terrorist gangs".

Those killed were "citizens of the friendly Indian state".

Masih said they were killed in front of his eyes and wondered why the government was not accepting what he had said earlier. "His was a cock-and-bull story", Swaraj said adding he had managed to flee the ISIS by faking his identity as a Muslim from Bangladesh. The workers were trying to flee the city when they were taken hostage.

"The 39 Indians were kidnapped in June 2014". In 2015, Mosul said, "the IS came and kidnapped us and took us to another place". Instead, they got the news when Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj announced it in a Parliament speech on Tuesday. Since last 2 years, the government is saying that they are kept in the jail of Iraq.

"Since the session of the Parliament was on, it was my responsibility to inform the House first", Swaraj said during a press conference.

At the height of their power, ISIS controlled almost a third of the country. The area around Badush was retaken last summer.

Search operations led to a mound in Badoosh where locals said some bodies were buried by IS.

"We have been in constant touch with the Minister of External Affairs who assured us that the 39 Indians who were captive there were safe", advocate Gaurav Bansal said speaking to DNA. "The report of the test is awaited", Singh had told.

Meanwhile, the grieving families of the 39 workers on Tuesday said they were given false assurance for years by the Centre, which said that the men were alive.

"Swaraj had said when the Iraqi prime minister comes to India, the government will confirm it from him, but didn't do anything", he added. When an eyewitness came forward said the IS have killed the Indians, they dismissed that too. On the fateful day, they were made to sit on their knees and the militants then opened fire upon them.

On Tuesday, soon after Rajya Sabha proceedings began amid protests from the Opposition, Swaraj rose to say: "I have two information (sic) to share". He was shot in the thigh but managed to escape.

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