NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday confirmed that thirty-nine Indians who were missing in Iraq's Mosul since 2014, have been killed by terrorist outfit Islamic State. ''Out of the 40, who were kidnapped, one person managed to escape, while others were confirmed dead after DNA samples of their relatives matched from the bodies exhumed from a mound,'' Swaraj said in Parliament.
She said that the mortal remains of the victims were sent to Baghdad. For verification of bodies, the DNA samples of their relatives were sent there and four state governments - Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar - were involved in this. Union Minister General (retd) VK Singh will now go to Iraq to bring back the mortal remains of the 39 Indians.
Of the 39, 27 belong to Punjab, four from Himachal Pradesh, two from West Bengal and six from Bihar. Here is the full list of the victims.
|4||Kanwal Jit Singh||Punjab|
|28||Aman Kumar||Himachal Pradesh|
|29||Sandeep Singh Rana||Himachal Pradesh|
|31||Hem Raj||Himachal Pradesh|
|32||Samar Tikadar||West Bengal|
|33||Khokhan Sikder||West Bengal|
|34||Santosh Kumar Singh||Bihar|
|35||Bidya Bhushan Tiwari||Bihar|
|37||Sunil Kumar Kushwaha||Bihar|
|39||Raju Kumar Yadav||Bihar (to be verified)|
The family members of the victims are now demanding proofs of the identification of the victims. "My brother went to Iraq in 2012 where he worked as a carpenter. We had been asking MEA for proof of him being alive or dead. We demand that reports of the DNA test be given to us," said Malkit Ram, brother of a Saganandlal who was among the 39 Indians killed in Mosul.
The family of 46-year-old Gobinder Singh also raised similar demands. "The government should share the DNA reports with us and also get the DNA test conducted once again in India so that we can be sure that the body handed over to us is that of my brother," he said.
Several relatives of slain workers said they were not officially informed about their loved ones by any government authority. "What do we say now? The government kept us in the dark all these years. Now after four years, they are making such a shocking statement," asked a dejected Sarwan whose 31-year-old brother Nishan was among those killed.