Published: Wed, March 21, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Indians who were kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq found dead

Indians who were kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq found dead

Khokon Sikdar and Samar Tikadar, both hailing from Nadia district, were among the 39 Indian construction workers killed in the Iraqi town after they were abducted by the Islamic State in 2014. "I refused to close the files (of the 39 Indians) till we had concrete proof in hand (about their death)", she said replying to questions on what prompted the government to give hope to the families of the 39 missing Indians since 2014.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told lawmakers in Parliament on Tuesday that the bodies were recently found buried in a mound of earth near Badush, a village northwest of Mosul that Iraqi forces had taken back from the ISIS group last July.

He told us that he has been abducted. "It was the media which has reported his death", said a family member.

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Under fire from the Opposition over the Centre's handling of the abduction of 40 Indians by the IslamicState in Iraq in 2014, Union minister VK Singh on said the government was "looking for proof of life" in a war-torn country and it was "always the easier choice" to have declared them dead.

Speaking to ANI, the Congress spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala said, "Modi Government has passed all limits of heartlessness when the whole world was saying they have died, the Indian Government assured the country and the kin that they are alive".

The 39th body exhumed from the grave had only a 70 percent DNA match, the minister said.

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"Of the 38 Indians, 27 were from Punjab, four from Himachal Pradesh, six from Bihar and two from West Bengal", Ms Swaraj later told a press conference here and maintained the final confirmation of Raju Yadav is still being awaited as the DNA testing by Martyrs Foundation has still not confirmed about Raju Yadav's details. "He said he was not sure whether he would be back to his family", his cousin said. However, EAM Swaraj has said that Masih's story was fake. Now everybody believes me.

Asked why the government did not go by the words of Harjit Massi, Sushma Swaraj said, "He is just one individual. That happened on July 9 past year, and minister of state V.K. Singh left for Mosul the following day", Sushma said. The plane carrying the mortal remains will first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and finally to Kolkata. "Can there be anything more shameful than this?" he tweeted.

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