Fate of 39 Indians missing in Iraq for 3 years still unknown

Lucy Bush
July 27, 2017

She said that She did not have any proof that the missing Indians were dead and hence the government will continue searching for them.

Swaraj assured that she would infrom the Parliament if the session is on or inform them via Twitter about the missing Indians.

In a moving speech aimed at dismissing the Opposition's allegation that she had misled Parliament in November 2014 on the status of the missing Indians, Swaraj said: "I have never misled".

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On Monday, Iraq said it was "not 100 per cent sure" whether the Indians, who were kidnapped by ISIS in Mosul three years ago, are alive or dead.

The group of Indian labourers, mostly from Punjab, was taken hostage by ISIS when it overran Iraq's second largest city Mosul in 2014. "If they were killed, where are the bodies.Is there any blood trail", she said. The minister said that she has requested the Iraqi foreign minister to trace the jail warden who could help them with the details.

While residual fighting near Badush reportedly restricted access to the restive region, Swaraj said she learned that the Indians had been transferred to do agricultural work before being sent to the prison, and that the Indians may have remained there. "But if tomorrow we discover that the person is alive, then only the person who talked to the family is responsible for it". Indians were caught in Mosul, 400 km from the Iraqi Capital, taken to hospital, reported doing farming, and thereafter informatively lodged in Badush Jail in 2016.

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"There were contradictions in Masih's version". She said six sources have confirmed to her that they were alive, which includes a President and a foreign minister of two countries. "What benefit my government gets by misleading the people on the issue", she added.

However, she reiterated in Rajya Sabha that she "won't declare anyone dead without proof". She said she won't rest until she finds out where they were. The minister said that as soon as the Iraqi Prime Minister declared that Mosul has been recaptured from the IS, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh was sent to Iraq. "It is a crime to do this without proper proof".

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