New Delhi, March 20: All 39 Indians who were kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq’s Mosul have died, confirmed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. “Deep penetration radar confirmed that all Indians were dead after all bodies were exhumed. It was too difficult to search our people in Iraq, thanks to VK Singh for his support, and the Iraq for the help.” Swaraj stated in Rajya Sabha today. Also Read - Amid Rising Border Tension, S Jaishankar to Meet Chinese Foreign Minister in Moscow Today
She further stated,”Mortal remains were sent to Baghdad. For verification of bodies DNA samples of relatives were sent there, 4 state govts, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar were involved. Yesterday we got information that DNA samples of 38 people have matched and DNA of the 39th person has matched 70 per cent.” Also Read - Remembering Sushma Swaraj: PM Modi Pays Tribute to Forgone Leader Who Was 'India's Voice at World Stage'
“I could not confirm the news that time as I was not having any proof. Today, I have proof that Harjeet Masi’s story was incorrect,” the Union Minister said in the upper house of Parliament. Also Read - 'Abrogation of Article 370 India's Internal Matter, Other Nations Have no Business,' Says Venkaiah Naidu
Last year in July, Swaraj had firmly said in the 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 said in a statement in the Lok Sabha in 2017.
Meanwhile, to bring back the mortal remains of all 39 Indians, Union minister General VK Singh will go to Iraq. “The plane carrying mortal remains will first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata,” the External Affairs Minister informed.
In 2014, a group of Indian labourers, mostly from Punjab, Bihar and Himachal was taken hostage by ISIS in Iraq’s second largest city Mosul. Reports claimed that the workers were trying to leave Mosul when they were intercepted.