New Delhi: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday confirmed that 39 Indians, who went missing in Mosul in Iraq in the year 2014 have been killed.
Speaking at Rajya Sabha, Swaraj said that the dreaded terror outfit Islamic State (IS) had killed all the Indian nationals. Deep penetration radar confirmed that all Indians were dead after all bodies were exhumed. Rajya Sabha remains two minutes silence for the departed souls.
Mortal remains were sent to Baghdad. For verification of bodies DNA samples of relatives were sent there, 4 state govts, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal & Bihar were involved. Yesterday we got information that DNA samples of 38 people have matched and DNA of the 39th person has matched 70 per cent.
Minister of State of External Affairs General VK Singh will go to Iraq to bring back mortal remains of Indians killed in Iraq. The plane carrying mortal remains will first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata.
In July last year, Swaraj had firmly said in the Parliament that she would not declare the 39 Indians dead without concrete proof or evidence.
“It is a sin to declare a person dead without concrete evidence. I will not do this sin,” Swaraj said in a statement in the Lok Sabha in 2017.
Earlier, India had asked Iraq for help in locating the missing Indians after Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul from IS.
The 39 persons, most of whom hailed from Punjab, were working on projects near Mosul, when they were kidnapped during their evacuation.