Missing Indian ISIS Hostages Found in Iraq Mass Grave

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

Thanking the Iraqi government, Sushma said that the dead bodies were discovered with the help of a deep penetration radar, and thereafter they were exhumed and their DNA samples were matched with those of their respective family members.

Addressing the parliament, Sushma Swaraj said DNA tests had confirmed the bodies found at a mass grave in Badush in northern Iraq belonged to their missing citizens.

Swaraj said Iraqi authorities informed the Indian government on Monday that DNA tests confirmed that 38 of them were the kidnapped workers.

However, then Swaraj did not believe him and said firmly said in the Parliament that she would not declare the 39 Indians dead without concrete proof or evidence.

However, Swaraj had stated that it would a sin to proclaim the 39 dead before any concrete proof of their death was found.

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Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh will be flying to Iraq to bring back their mortal remains to India on a special flight.

Harjit Masih, one of the hostages who escaped from Iraq's Mosul, earlier on Tuesday said that the Government has mislead families of all the 39 Indian hostages killed in Iraq by ISIS.

The victims - 31 from Punjab, four from Himachal Pradesh and four from Bihar and West Bengal - were construction workers and were employed by an Iraqi company in Mosul. Giving details of the incident, Masih said that Indians were working at a factory in Iraq in 2014.

"He was not willing to tell me how he escaped", she said.

Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha that the 3-year-long wait for the families of those missing Indians, while ending with the sad news of the death of their near ones, had now reached closure.

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Khokhon Sikdar, a carpenter, went to Mosul to look for work at a time when the ISIS was taking apart Iraq one city after another.

He told reporters here that 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.

"We have been in constant touch with the Minister of External Affairs who assured us that the 39 Indians who were captive there were safe", advocate Gaurav Bansal said speaking to DNA. I said this to the government when they kept me in custody for one year.

"Masih is just an individual, he could claim 39 others are dead but we are the Government, we cannot say this so easily". These bodies were sent to Baghdad for DNA testing. When an eyewitness came forward said that the ISIS have killed the Indians, they rejected it too. They were first taken to a textile factory where Bangladeshi workers were separated and sent to the city of Erbil.

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