39 Indians abducted in Iraq have died: Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha said 39 Indians who were kidnapped in Iraq have died. As a mark of respect to the 39 Indians killed in Iraq, Chair calls for 2 minutes silence in Rajya Sabha.
Swaraj said, "Deep penetration radar confirmed that all Indians were dead after all bodies were exhumed."
Swaraj said, "Mortal remains were sent to Baghdad. For verification of bodies DNA samples of relatives were sent there, 4 state governments, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar were involved."
"Yesterday (Monday) we got information that DNA samples of 38 people have matched and DNA of the 39th person has matched 70 per cent."
General VK Singh will go to Iraq to bring back mortal remains of Indians killed in Iraq. The plane carrying mortal remains will first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata.
The minister thanked Iraqi authorities for excellent cooperation in first using deep penetration radar to locate the bodies, then exhuming them and later transferring them to Baghdad for DNA testing.
Also, she commended VK Singh for his efforts, she said Singh, the Indian Ambassador and an Iraqi official had to sleep on the floor of a small house during the search operations.
Shashi Tharoor, said, "This is saddening for every Indian, rest I would ask why was this information delayed by the govt, they should tell how it happened when they died. Also, the way govt gave high hopes to the families was not right."
Around 39 Indians were reportedly kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq in 2014. They were said to be located in a prison in Badush, in northwest Mosul.