New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh (retd) will leave for Mosul on Sunday to bring back the mortal remains of the 39 Indians who were killed in the war-torn country.
The minister is expected to bring back the bodies by late Monday, following which he will travel to Amritsar, Punjab and Patna to hand over the mortal remains to their respective families.
“I am leaving for Iraq, will be getting back mortal remains of the 39 Indians. Tomorrow I will return to Amritsar, and then will go to Kolkata and then Patna. The families of the victims have been informed about the same,” Singh said.
Earlier on Saturday, Singh said that the legal procedures of obtaining the mortal remains of the 39 Indians killed in Iraq had been completed and New Delhi was waiting for Baghdad to give the green signal.
“As soon as we get a nod from Baghdad ambassador, we will leave with a C-17 plane to bring back the mortal remains with due honours. We will handover the mortal remains to their families.” They will not have to come to the airport,” General Singh had said.
On March 20, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed the Rajya Sabha that all 39 Indians kidnapped by ISIS in Mosul three years ago were 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. The workers were trying to leave Mosul when they were intercepted.
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.