New Delhi: In her address in the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said all 39 Indians kidnapped by ISIS in Mosul three years ago are dead.
Reacting to the news announced by the External Affairs Minister in Parliament, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said, "We had expected this, it should have been announced earlier, it was known since much earlier."
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, "This is saddening for every Indian, rest I would ask why was this information delayed by the government, they should tell how it happened, when they died. Also, the way government gave high hopes to the families was not right."
Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Ghulam Nabi Azad also reacted to the news. The Congress leader said, "Congress offers condolences to families of those who were killed in Iraq. We are with their families in this painful and sad time. It is our demand that they should be given financial assistance by central and state governments and also employment in government service."
In her Parliament address Sushma Swaraj said, “Yesterday (Monday) we got information that DNA samples of 38 people have matched and DNA of the 39th person has matched 70 per cent.”
Sushma Swaraj also informed that Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh will go to Iraq to bring back mortal remains of Indians killed.
“The plane carrying mortal remains will first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata,” said Swaraj.
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.
Families of Indian hostages who were killed by ISIS in Iraq's Mosul also reacted to the news.
"For past four years External Affairs Minister was telling me that they were alive, don't know what to believe anymore. I am waiting to speak with her (Sushma Swaraj), no information was given to us, we heard her statement she made in Parliament," said Gurpinder Kaur sister of Manjinder Singh who was among the 39 Indians killed in Iraq.
"We had got information that that my brother was abducted by terrorists, after that nothing was known about his whereabouts. My DNA test was done twice, but we received no information," said brother of an Indian national from Jalandhar who was among 39 killed Mosul.
"My husband went to Iraq in 2011 and I spoke to him last on 15 June, 2014. We were always told us that they were alive," Manjeet Kaur wife of Davinder Singh from Jalandhar who was among the Indians killed in Iraq.
"I don't know what to say. Since 2014 I had been pleading with the govt to bring him back somehow and today they say that he is no more," Puroshottam Tiwari, Uncle of Vidya Bhushan Tiwari, a resident of Bihar, who was among 39 Indians killed in Iraq's Mosul.
More than 10,000 Indians fled Iraq amid the upsurge in violence in 2014, including dozens of nurses who were held briefly by suspected IS militants in Tikrit and Mosul before being allowed to return home....