Sushma Swaraj confirm killing of 39 Indian labourers in Iraq

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Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has said in the Rajya Sabha that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has killed all the 39 Indians it had kidnapped in Mosul, Iraq, in 2014. Indian authorities then sent DNA samples from relatives of the missing workers. DNA testing provided matches for 38 of the missing men while the last was a 70 percent match, Swaraj said. She also said it was not possible to declare all 39 dead based on Masih's claims as the government has to follow proper procedures to do so.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh will be flying to Iraq to bring back their mortal remains to India on a special flight.

The family members of two men from West Bengal, who were killed by the terror group ISIS in Iraq, said on Tuesday that no one from either the central or the state government has informed them of the devastating news. "The plane carrying mortal remains will first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata", Sushma Swaraj said, addressing the Parliament.

A resident of Mehta village, she said her brother Manjinder Singh had gone to Iraq for employment. She told parliament on Tuesday that Masih had posed as a Muslim from Bangladesh to escape Iraq.

Iraq's Martyr Foundation, which was handling the issue of the 39 Indians, also held a press conference in Baghdad. One of the 40 workers, Harjit Masih, had earlier managed to escape his captors.

Until October a year ago, both India and Iraq had contended that the 39 people were alive.

"With full proof I can say these 39 are dead".

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"Sushma Swaraj had said when Iraqi Prime Minister comes to India, the government will confirm it from him, but didn't do anything", he added.

The bodies were later exhumed with help from Iraqi authorities and sent for DNA testing to Baghdad, the report said. The workers were trying to flee the city when they were taken hostage.

I knew something serious has happened to my brother, but the government was not willing to (disclose the goal of collecting the DNA samples).

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, in a series of tweets, said that using Parliament as an excuse for the families of 39 dead Indians having to learn of their heartbreaking loss from TV channels is unpardonable.

The group of workers, mostly from Punjab, were waylaid as they were being evacuated from the area as fighting between the terrorists and government forces intensified.

"What I fail to understand is that when those who gave their assurance actually kept quiet, the pandemonium was created by the Congress and it was Jyotiraditya Scindia who personally took the lead in this", Sushma Swaraj said.