DAYS after The Indian Express published The Waiting, a series on the families of 39 Indians abducted in Iraq by the Islamic State in 2014, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said she had been informed by two heads of state in the region that the missing workers were alive.
“I don’t abandon any Indian national, whether stranded or captive,” said Swaraj.
Referring to The Indian Express series, Swaraj said, “I don’t give false hopes. If I had the confirmation that they were killed, then I would have definitely apologised to the familes and told them that they were killed.”
“When I am saying that they were alive, I have a huge responsibility to find them. I have been searching for them over the last two years,” she said.
“We got information about them being alive from two heads of state. It is my duty to search for them. And I will do so. So, it will be unjust on my part to say that the Indians held in Iraq are dead,” she said.
At least two leaders from Palestine and Jordan had conveyed to the Indian leadership that the missing workers were alive, sources said.
Rejecting the testimony of Harjeet Masih, who has claimed that he was the only survivor from that group of missing Indians, Swaraj said, “We have been informed that they are alive, except for Harjeet Masih’s statement. Even the relatives have rejected the statement of Harjeet Masih. One of the relatives said that he had spoken to his brother on June 21 (2014). According to Harjeet Masih, all were killed on June 15, then how can one speak on June 21?” said Swaraj.