External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday met the families of 39 Indians who are missing in Iraq since 2014 along with Ministers of State for MEA MJ Akbar and Gen VK Singh (retd) in New Delhi. “The day Iraq PM declared Mosul is liberated from ISIS, I asked VK Singh to go to Erbil,” Swaraj was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Speaking on the missing men, she added: “Sources there told VK Singh that the missing Indians are most probably in a jail in Badush where fighting is still going on.”
The meeting comes five days after Singh went to Iraq to get information on the missing Indians. Devinder Singh, brother of one of the missing men Gobinder Singh, had earlier told The Indian Express that this would be the 12th meeting with Sushma since the Indians went missing.
The men are believed to have been abducted by Islamic State militants on June 11, 2014. “Family members had been making several calls to MEA to know about the missing men. That appears to be the reason that the minister has apparently called a meeting to brief the family members collectively,” Devinder told The Indian Express. “I got a call about the meeting and was told that the minister would share information gathered by V K Singh,” said Gurpinder Kaur, one of the missing men Manjinder Singh’s sister.