Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday wrote to EAM Sushma Swaraj expressing shock on the deaths of 39 Indians in Iraq, requests for financial assistance for families of the kin.
Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said all the 39 Indians who were abducted by ISIS in Iraq nearly three years ago were killed, and their bodies had been recovered.
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.
As many as 40 Indians were originally abducted by the terrorist organisation ISIS in June 2014 from Mosul in Iraq but one of them escaped by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh, Swaraj said in a suo moto statement in the Rajya Sabha. The remaining 39 Indians were taken to Badoosh and killed.
Search operations led to a mound in Badoosh where locals said some bodies were buried by the ISIS. Deep penetration radars were used to establish that the mound indeed was a mass grave, Swaraj said, adding that the Indian authorities requested their Iraqi counterparts to exhume the bodies.
Swaraj said the mass grave had exactly 39 bodies, with distinctive features like long hair, non-Iraqi shoes, and IDs. The bodies were then sent to Baghdad for DNA testing.
DNA testing by Martyrs Foundation has established the identity of 38 Indians while there has been 70 per cent matching of the DNA for the 39th person, she said.