Indian abducted by IS in 2015 killed: Sushma Swaraj

Mar 21, 2018, 03:26
Indian abducted by IS in 2015 killed: Sushma Swaraj

Asked what kept hopes alive of the fate of these men, the minister said at least two Heads of State had said they might not have been killed.

The 39 people were kidnapped by ISIS in Mosul in 2014. We maintained this in 2014 and 2017. Relentless search led them to a mass grave in Badosh, where deep penetration radar was used to establish the presence of bodies below a mound.

Masih was shot in the thigh but managed to escape to Kurdish-controlled Irbil. "I fell unconscious. Next day, when I regained consciousness, I found all my fellow workers dead".

"It is very much possible that the claim made by them now is also wrong", he said. It was in June 2014 that his family heard his voice for the last time.

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The statement showed the government was "insensitive and inhuman" as it should have contacted the families of the victims before informing Parliament, CPI (M) leader in the Lok Sabha Mohammad Salim said. Even recently, we were told that nothing happened to Dharminder and he would be home soon. "We are clueless about what we need to do". "The government kept us in the dark all these years".

However, the opposition accused the Centre of giving hope for the families of the deceased and misleading the nation.

Sushma said on Tuesday that she had repeatedly told the families that "I have no evidence of their being either dead or alive" - the equanimous position that governments and defence forces usually adopt to ensure that false hopes are not raised.

"We were told this was to ascertain certain identification process, but we were not told that Santosh is dead".

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Briefing media persons later, Sushma Swaraj said her government did not believe in declaring a missing person as believed to be killed.

Months later, an intelligence report quoting an unidentified humanitarian worker claimed that missing Indians were killed in June 2014, however, Indian government wanted to plug all the loopholes through proper inquiry.

"With full proof I can say these 39 are dead", the minister said.

"What Soni had said in Parliament has come true today", he said. "He had left for Iraq in 2013". Others like National Conference's Omar Abdullah and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee also extended condolences. A month later, when Indian officials arrived, they found that 39 Indians taken hostage by the terrorists of the so-called caliphate were missing.

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"The mortal remains, which were exhumed from a mass grave, will be brought back to India on a special plane and handed over to their relatives", she added.