Why government didn't accept earlier that all were dead: Mosul survivor

Brunilde Fioravanti
Marzo 21, 2018

Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday lambasted the Congress party for creating a ruckus in the Lok Sabha when she was speaking on the issue of 39 Indians killed in Iraq's Mosul.

Congress Communications incharge Randeep Surjewala said the Modi Government has crossed all limits of insensitivity as it preferred to make the announcement of deaths of 39 Indians on television than call up every families of those dead.

"They assured us over and over again that everything was all right - that they were alive and that the government was searching for them", she said. "Our Government remains fully committed towards ensuring the safety of our sisters and brothers overseas", he added.

The bodies of 39 Indian construction workers who were kidnapped in Iraq by the Islamic State group (ISIS) have been found dead, the government announced on Tuesday, ending almost four years of uncertainty.

A total of 40 Indians were originally abducted by ISIS in 2014 from Mosul but one of them escaped by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh, Swaraj said.

In a statement in the Lok Sabha soon after his visit to Mosul in July previous year, Gen. V.K. Singh said: "As per latest information from multiple third-party sources, they are all safe". Sushma said she dismissed his claims "as he was not willing to tell me how he escaped". Aggrieved members of the families of the deceased expressed their discontent at the way the matter was handled and an opportunistic Opposition was quick to latch on. Unless I get concrete evidence of their being killed, I will continue to search for them. "The government should have told us they have no information about missing Indians rather than making false statements", said Sarwan adding that it is the government's biggest failure.

While authorities have not said when they believe the group was killed, the bodies were badly decomposed and had clearly been buried for a long time, Iraq's forensic director, Zaid Ali Abbas, told The Associated Press.

"One day, I got a telephone call from my brother from Iraq, informing he was stuck and it seemed hard to come out of the unpredictable circumstances due to terrorist activities", she said.

The following 39 Indians had gone missing since 2014.

"I had spoken the truth", survivor Harjit Masih said.

"We used a deep penetration satellite to see a mass grave". But it was only when Iraqi authorities began digging last summer that the identity of the victims became clear.

Asked why then there was such a delay in confirming the death of these Indians, she said that the DNA samples were initially matched with the bodies found in mass graves in Iraq. Then the militants opened fire.

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