New Delhi, Mar 30: To bring back the bodies of 39 Indian workers killed in Mosul by the Islamic State terrorists, the Minister of State For External Affairs General (retd) VK Singh will visit Iraq on April 1. In an exclusive chat with Zee News, the minister said he would visit Amritsar, Kolkata and Bihar to hand over the bodies.
He said the Modi government made an honest effort to locate the missing workers. He further said that no previous governments would have undertaken such a task with so much honesty.
Talking about the bodies of the deceased Indians, he said 38 bodies have been identified– which have to be brought back. 27 are from Punjab, 4 from Himachal Pradesh, and the rest are from West Bengal and Bihar. The body of a deceased worker from Bihar, named Raju Yadav, has not been identified yet. 70 per cent DNA test has been completed on the body. If it is identified, he will bring all 39 bodies home.
He said he would visit the states to hand over the bodies. He requested state governments to help the families of the deceased.
He said all those who were playing politics on the matter didn’t go to Iraq to locate the missing workers. But the Modi government was constantly in touch with the Iraqi government. “I went there myself and tried to find out their whereabouts,” he added.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had announced in parliament last week that the 39 missing workers were not alive. She said the bodies were identified inside a mass grave using a deep penetration radar. Their bodies were exhumed and sent for DNA tests–which confirmed their deaths. The workers had gone missing in June 2014 when the ISIS captured Mosul.