India says 39 workers abducted in Iraq in 2015 dead

Abducted Indian workers found dead in Iraq

Sushma has been dismissing all claims by Harjit Masih stating that he escaped posing as one of the Bangladeshis, who was let go by the terrorists and couldn't be trusted.

Swaraj didn't forget to express her satisfaction over announcing the death of 39 Indians only after getting her hands at "concrete evidence".

Clarifying on why the kin of the victims were not informed before the parliament about the deaths, Sushma said it was her duty and parliamentary procedure to inform the House first before anyone else. She added the bodies were spotted by using deep penetration radar and were exhumed from mass graves.

"While we were looking for proof of life in a war-torn country, it was always the easier choice to declare them dead". We met the Foreign Minister several times, every time she assured us that the government is doing its best to find the Indians abducted by ISIS (Daesh*).

"For four years, the minister had told me that they were alive, I don't know what to believe anymore", said Gurpinder Kaur, sister of Manjinder Singh, one of the men killed in Iraq. Swaraj said that after the Daesh was overthrown, Singh, her deputy and Minister of State for External Affairs, visited Iraq in search of the missing Indians.

"Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and particularly my colleagues Sushma Swaraj Ji and VK Singh Ji left no stone unturned in trying to trace and safely bring back those we lost in Mosul".


After questions were raised over the government's confirmation, the minister held a press conference to say that the government can not declare any person dead without concrete proof and it was her duty to inform Parliament first about their death rather than tell their families first.

"We had been saying that we neither have the evidence of them being alive nor the evidence of them being dead. We gave no false hopes", she said.

Manjeet Kaur, wife of Davinder Singh, who is among the dead, told ANI that the government kept telling them all along that he was alive.

"With full proof I can say these 39 are dead", Swaraj said on Tuesday.

However, government disbelieves Masih's escape story as he was in the custody of security agencies for three months. He also said the workers had been in phone contact with their families and the Indian embassy in Baghdad in the days before their execution. She based her statement on meetings with Arab and Palestinian leaders.

Most of the workers were from the northern state of Punjab, where most of India's Sikhs live.

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