The External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told told the Rajya Sabha that all the 39 Indians abducted by Islamic State in Iraq’s Mosul in 2014 were dead. Swaraj’s news came as hope-quashing for families hoping for the safe return of their relatives.
The MEA said that the bodies were exhumed from a mass grave and sent to Baghdad for DNA tests. She added,
“Yesterday we got information that DNA samples of 38 people have matched and DNA of the 39th person has matched 70 per cent.”
She further stated that the Minister of state for external affairs V K Singh will be going to bring the mortal remains back from Iraq. The plane would first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata.
The only Indian to escape was Harjit Masih. He later claimed that others in the group were gunned down way back, on June 15, 2014.
A small flashback
In total a group of 40 men, mostly construction workers, were snatched from war-ravaged Mosul. Mosul is the northern Iraqi city which was once a stronghold of Islamic State.
Late last year, the Indian government collected DNA samples from the families after several mass graves were found in Mosul. Mosul got free from IS clutches in July of that year.
The government had classified the men as missing. It had also said that the search would continue till concrete proof of their death is received.