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India confirms death of 39 workers abducted in Iraq
21 March 2018, 08:00 | Virginia Benson
Islamic State militants
The Congress yesterday demanded that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj should apologise to families of the 39 Indians, killed in Iraq, for "misleading" them and giving "false hopes", and also demanded that the Narendra Modi government compensate them.
Surjewala also slammed Swaraj for "denying" the reports of the death of Indians, who were captivated by the ISIS militants, which surfaced in media earlier.
The 39th body exhumed from the grave had only a 70 percent DNA match, the minister said.
"The MEA and particularly my colleagues Sushma Swaraj ji and General VK Singh ji left no stone unturned in trying to trace and safely bring back those we lost in Mosul", Modi said. She did not take any names.
Bodies of 39 Indians, who were abducted in 2014, have been identified after DNA matching, India's foreign minister says.
Stating that that she had gone to the House with a heavy heart to give the sad and serious news after four years of efforts, she said: "Where was the need for Congress to kick up this ruckus?"
"He was not willing to tell me how he escaped", she said.
Families of the victims said they were finding it hard to believe that their near and dear ones were no more. It will then travel to Patna and finally to Kolkata, the minister added.
The Associated Press quoted the envoy as saying that the bodies will be sent back to India "in a couple of weeks or so". There was hope that missing Indians will be found after Mosul was freed from IS in July past year.
Daesh* abducted 40 Indians in Mosul, Iraq in June 2014.
They were taken hostage by Islamic State militants when they took control of the second largest city in Iraq in 2014.
"She told me you have been a Minister before and know how the government functions".
"In Rajya Sabha everyone listened to me patiently and in peace".
Sushma accused Rahul Gandhi of asking Jyotiraditya Scindia to lead protests in Lok Sabha. "The Congress's behaviour today has crossed all limits of low-level politics". "That happened on July 9 previous year, and minister of state V.K. Singh left for Mosul the following day", Sushma said.
The government has rejected the claims of Harjit Masih of Gurdaspur, who had managed to escape the kidnappers, that he had witnessed the massacre of the 39 Indians.
"It is baseless that Masih was harassed and that he was kept in protective custody", she said. Swaraj said she had contacted Masih's employer and found out that he escaped from Iraq along with some Bangladeshis claiming that his name was "Ali" and that a "caterer helped Masih". "For verification of bodies DNA samples of relatives were sent there, four state governments, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar were involved..." In any case, whenever they may have been killed, their bodies could have been discovered only after Mosul was freed from the ISIS.
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