Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has said in the Rajya Sabha that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has killed all the 39 Indians it had kidnapped in Mosul, Iraq, in 2014. The minister further revealed that all the bodies of the deceased have been exhumed through deep penetration radar and relatives of the victims were sent for DNA tests.
Sushma said that the ISIS had kidnapped the victims, most of them laborers from Punjab, in 2014. Until October last year, for more than 3 and a half years, both the Indian and Iraqi authorities have maintained that all the 39 Indians were alive and safe, until the tragic news broke.
Adding further, Sushma said that the mortal remains of the 39 Indians are kept in Iraq’s capital Baghdad and that General VK Singh will soon fly to Iraq to bring back the mortal remains. A special plane carrying the deceased will first fly to Amritsar and then to Patna and Kolkata.
Sushma’s revelation invited severe criticism and grief. Congress MP Sashi Tharoor blasted the government for giving false hope to the nation. “Why did the Govt give false hope to the nation for 3 and a half years that the people were still alive?,” Tharoor questioned. In July last year, Sushma refused to declare that the Indians were dead, saying, “It is a sin to declare a person dead without concrete evidence. I will not do this sin,” she said.