Indians Kidnapped by IS in Iraq's Mosul are Dead: Sushma Swaraj

"We stand in solidarity with families of Indians killed in Iraq, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj informed the parliament that 39 citizens lost in Iraq since 2014 have been declared dead".

"Out of the 40, who were kidnapped, one person managed to escape, while others were confirmed dead after DNA samples of their relatives matched from the bodies exhumed from a mound, " EAM Swaraj said in Rajya Sabha. This statement by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Parliament on Tuesday brought down curtains on hopes of the family members of the 39 "missing" Indian construction workers being alive. She indicates that this issue is very bad and she added that their bodies were spotted using deep penetration radar. In the present case, after first confirmation, Iraq's Martyrs Foundation started conducting test on other bodies.

Some identity cards and personal belongings were also found.

While 31 of those abducted were from Punjab, the rest were from Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. The victims were taken hostage when the Islamic State took control of the second largest city in Iraq. "He left for Mosul in 2013-14".

"Shattered at the heart-wrenching news. that the 39 Indians missing in Iraq, most of whom were Punjabis, are dead", the Punjab chief minister, Amarinder Singh, tweeted. It will then travel to Patna and finally to Kolkata, the minister added. Swaraj, while speaking in Parliament today dismissed the claims that were made by Masih saying, "He was not willing to tell me how he escaped".

"General V.K. Singh will go to Iraq to bring back mortal remains of Indians killed in Iraq. Although some of us in the intelligence agencies believed that all 39 were killed, it could not be officially confirmed to the families because it would been wrong on the part of the government", intelligence sources said.

One question kept bouncing back through the day, revolving around a perception that foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had kept the hopes of the families alive.

On Tuesday, Swaraj said Masih had lied.

"I only heard what the minister said on television".

"We haven't received any phone call even from the government".

"Giving falsehood to people is actually cruel and suggests a certain level of lack transparency on part of the government", Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said. "I had spoken the truth", asserted Masih, a resident of village Kala Afghana in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. I am waiting to speak with her.

  • Joey Payne