External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday met the family members of 39 Indian men missing in Iraq since June 2014 in Delhi. She told them that a source of the government in Iraq had information about a group of Indian men holed up in a “church” in an area of Mosul that is yet to be liberated from IS militants.
The family members, who were meeting her for the first time since October 2016, wanted to know what efforts the government was taking to locate the missing men now that most of Mosul had been liberated.
“She told us that Iraqi forces had recaptured 90 per cent of the area and the Indian men were in the area that was yet to be freed from IS militants,” said Gurpinder Kaur, sister of one of the missing men, Manjinder Singh, after the meeting, which lasted about 45 minutes.
The minister told them that the Indian men most likely belong to the group of 39, who are believed to have been abducted by IS militants on June 11, 2014.
A note from India’s Consul General in Erbil, Deepak Miglani, was read out for the families which referred to the source’s information learning the “exact location” of the Indian men. The families were also told that MEA Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha and Joint Secretary (Gulf) Mridul Kumar had gone to Iraq in connection with the issue.