Congress terms Modi Govt. heartless on the death of Indians in Iraq

Posted March 21, 2018

Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni also hit out at External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for "playing politics" over the death of the 39 Indian nationals who were abducted and killed by the ISIS.

Swaraj earlier said in the Rajya Sabha that their bodies were recovered from Badosh - a village in the northwest of Mosul - and their identities established through DNA testing although it was not immediately known when the Indians were killed. "It is a sin to declare a person dead without concrete evidence".

The bodies will now be brought to India by Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh and handed over to the respective State governments.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday wrote to EAM Sushma Swaraj expressing shock on the deaths of 39 Indians in Iraq, requests for financial assistance for families of the kin. "The plane carrying mortal remains will first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata", she said.

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The workers were taken hostage by ISIS militants when they took control of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, in 2014. After a missing complaint was filed from the family 9 out of the Indian's abducted in Iraq, Masih was arrested.

In 2014, 40 Indian construction workers went missing outside the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Surjewala also asked what was the need to give the statement in a hurry - even when the issue of no-confidence came up, asking if it was because the Iraq's Martyrs Foundation was going to hold a press conference in the afternoon to reveal the truth about the killing of 39 Indians.

Harjit Masih, the only Indian survivor, has long said that the rest of the group had been killed. "I am getting regular sympathy words from the Union Government of India from the last three years but nothing has been done on the part of Government".

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"With full proof I can say these 39 are dead". She said the bodies would be taken straight to whichever part of the country they were from.

Relentless search for them led to a mass grave in Badosh, where deep penetration radar was used to establish the presence of bodies below a mound. Of the 39 deceased, 27 are from Punjab, six are from Bihar, four from Himachal Pradesh and two from West Bengal. Sushma Swaraj also dismissed claims of Harjeet Massi, one of them who escaped from Mosul. We are hopeful that we will be able to find them and bring them back home.

"DNA samples, as received from our respective state governments, have been forwarded to the Iraqi authorities for inclusion in their database for matching with the DNA from the human remains being retrieved by them from mass graves".

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