Modi government played politics over death of Indians in Iraq: Congress

21 March, 2018, 08:03 | Author: Yolanda Murray
  • External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the press conference on Tuesday

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed in the Rajya Sabha today that the 39 Indians were killed in the Iraqi city of Mosul, liberated from the dreaded group in June a year ago.

Accusing the Congress of indulging in "cheap politics", External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Tuesday said she did not keep anyone in the dark over the killing of 39 Indians in captivity in Iraq or give the families "false hopes".

The minister said DNA samples matched with 38 bodies and the 39th was yet to be fully confirmed because the DNA sample sent was from someone else in his family as his parents are dead.

"Our government doesn't believe in "missing means killed" theory", said Swaraj while declaring that she met the foreign ministers of respective countries personally to garner evidence. She also said it was not possible to declare all 39 dead based on Masih's claims as the government has to follow proper procedures to do so. Sushma Swaraj said that 39 Indians missing in Mosul have been killed.

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"General V.K. Singh will go to Iraq to bring back mortal remains of Indians killed in Iraq". Masih said that Indians were working at a factory in Iraq in 2014. I was not involved in any falsehood. she said, referring to her statements in Parliament in 2014 and 2017.

Adding further Kaur said, "I was having deep intuition from inside of my heart when Government had asked us to go for DNA tests".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed condolences on the death of 39 Indian nationals in Mosul, Iraq on Tuesday. Of the 40 Indians, Harjit Masih from Gurdaspur had managed to escape and had claimed to have witnessed the massacre of the others. "India strongly condemns terrorism in all forms and manifestations and stands in solidarity with the government and the people of Iraq in their fight against terrorism".

The bodies were later exhumed with help from Iraqi authorities and sent for DNA testing to Baghdad, the report said.

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All of them were construction workers, mostly from Punjab, and were employed by an Iraqi company in Mosul. Under fire for not informing the families of the deceased, Swaraj said that she wanted to inform the Parliament first. Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, said that he was shocked to hear that 39 Indians were now confirmed dead.

She said that the next logical conclusion would to grant closure to the families by bringing the bodies back.

In a statement, Iraq's government said it had worked with the Indian Embassy to positively identify the remains using DNA samples.

Their bodies had been found in the grave in the village of Badush northwest of the city of Mosul and taken to a local organisation for DNA testing.

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