The 39 Indians, who were abducted by ISIS in Iraq’s Mosul three years ago, were killed and their bodies have been recovered, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Parliament on Tuesday. The DNA testing has confirmed the identity of 38 Indians, the government was told on Tuesday, she added. The 39th person’s DNA has a match of 70 per cent. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh will be flying to Iraq to bring back the bodies on a special flight, Swaraj said.
The government had been maintaining that the 39 Indians were “well and alive”. Swaraj, in a statement in Parliament in July last year, said that there was no evidence to state that they were killed by the Islamic terrorists, adding that she would not commit the sin of declaring them dead.
The Opposition, meanwhile, attacked the government for delaying the announcement of the death of the 39 Indians. Slamming the government, MP Shashi Tharoor said: “This is saddening for every Indian, rest I would ask why was this information delayed by the govt, they should tell how it happened when they died. Also, the way govt gave high hopes to the families was not right.” Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also expressed condolences to the families of the victims. Read what Sushma Swaraj told Parliament