Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
New Delhi: Even as the NDA government was grappling with the issue of forty Indians kidnapped in strife-torn Iraq, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was extended support from Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday who said that her party would be supportive of all diplomatic efforts.
Sonia wrote to the PM saying, “Congress will be supportive of all diplomatic efforts to bring back Indians in Iraq.”
She also said that the government must ensure safety and secure early release of the abducted Indians in Iraq.
Sonia underlined the fact that the escalation of conflict in Iraq had undermined the peace and stability in the region.
At the same time she condemned the kidnapping of Indians as `despicable` and `cowardly` act that has caused deep distress to the affected families, PTI reported.
Forty Indians who were working in Iraq were kidnapped in Mosul town.
The government today said that they were `safe` and that their locations had been identified by Iraqi authorities - a cotton mill and a government building.
This was what was reportedly told by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to the family members of some of the kidnapped Indians from Punjab who met her today.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was also present at the meeting.
Later while addressing the press, Swaraj said that the government was making all efforts to ensure that the safe return of Indians and guaranteed that they would be brought back the moment there was normalcy in Iraq.
The government said the Iraqi authorities have identified the location of the kidnapped Indians but no demand for ransom has been received. It was also not clear whether Sunni militant outfit ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), which captured Mosul, Tikrit and some other parts of Iraq, was behind the kidnapping, PTI reported.
Government also said there are in all 120 Indians in the violence-hit areas including those kidnapped, hailing from Punjab, Kerala and other parts.
With PTI inputs