New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh on Sunday said that his ministry has no confirmation whether the 41 Indians, including a Catholic priest from Kerala, held hostage by ISIS in Iraq and Yemen are dead or alive.
Those held hostage by ISIS, 40 are from Punjab while one person is from Kerala. Singh, however, said that there is no “adverse” report about them.
Referring to the whereabouts of the Catholic priest from Kerala, Father Tom Uzhunnalil, Singh said, “There is no confirmation whether he is dead or he is alive….Anything adverse is not there.”
“It is the same situation that we are facing for 40 people from Punjab. They are in the captivity of IS in Iraq. We don’t have any confirmation,” he told reporters.
“We just know a person has been abducted…or the 40 people are in captivity but anything adverse is not there. It is not coming out,” the Indian Express quoted the minister as saying. He added that the government would not be able to say anything till the time any information reaches it.
Forty Indians from Punjab were taken hostage by the ISIS on June 11 in 2014 in Iraq’s Mosul town while Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kottayam district in Kerala, was abducted in March this year by the terror group in Yemen. He had gone missing after the militant group attacked a care home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
At least 15 people were killed in the attack.
(With PTI inputs)