39 Indians kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq dead, says Sushma Swaraj

NEW DELHI: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday informed the Rajya Sabha that the 39 Indian citizens kidnapped in 2014 by ISIS in Iraq were killed, said the media reports.

Media reports added that the minister said in the Rajya Sabha that a deep penetration radar had confirmed the death of the hostages who had been taken from Mosul. Their mortal remains were exhumed and sent to Iraq’s capital Baghdad for DNA sample verification.

“On Monday, we got information that DNA samples of 38 persons have matched and DNA of the 39th person has matched 70 percent,” she said.

In July last year, Swaraj firmly said in Parliament that she would not declare the 39 Indians dead without concrete proof or evidence.

“It is a sin to declare a person dead without concrete evidence. I will not do this sin,” Swaraj had said in a statement in the Lok Sabha in 2017, said the media reports.

According to media reports, now, with the deaths confirmed, Swaraj said the Indians’ mortal remains would be brought back to India by Union minister of state for external affairs, VK Singh.

“General VK Singh will go to Iraq to bring back mortal remains of Indians killed in Iraq. The plane carrying mortal remains will first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata,” the minister added, according to the media reports.

Most of the 39 killed were from Punjab and were working on projects near Mosul when they were kidnapped during their evacuation.