The government on Friday said every possible efforts “well beyond diplomatic possibilities” were being explored for the safe return of 39 Indians who are in the captivity of Sunni militants ISIS in conflict-hit Iraq.
“It is not a situation where normal diplomatic channels are available or possible to be used. We do understand the difficulties and the despair of the family and let me assure them every effort is being done. Every possible effort well beyond diplomatic possibilities are being explored,” Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson said.
He said the Indian Mission in Baghdad has been in touch with the captive Indians through “interlocutors” and the info they got from them is that they are “unharmed” but remain in captivity.
He was responding to a query that there was a view that government was not doing enough to secure the release of 39 Indian workers in Mosul as it had done in the case of nurses.
Responding to another query about the bomb blast in a restaurant in Tanzania’s northern tourism city of Arusha in which eight Indians were injured, he said the government was in touch with the local authorities, both in Tanzanian capital Dar-es-Salaam and in Arusha.
“Five of them were moved to another hospital in Nairobi and since then they are not in danger of any sort. One Indian national who was in the local hospital has had serious injuries,” he said adding the injured person is being assisted by a consular officer from the Indian Mission in Dar -es-Salaam.
“We have also taken this up in Arusha. We can confirm that both in Arusha and Dar-es-Salaam, this matter has been taken up by the Mission with the competent authorities and we will work with them and seek any responses as and when they come in,” he said.
The blast had happened on Monday in a restaurant which is popular with Indian nationals and is located in a posh area close to Gymkhana and Sekei areas of Arusha.
Meanwhile, responding to another question on Indian aid worker Alexil Prem Kumar who was abducted from Herat in Afghanistan on June 2, the spokesperson said there was no change in his status, indicating he continued to be in captivity. There was no more information available about his status.