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Sushma says missing Indians in Mosul not dead for us

Last Modified Wednesday, 26 July 2017 (15:41 IST)
New Delhi: Dismissing the charge that she was misleading Parliament regarding the fate of missing Indians in Iraq, External Affairs Minister today reaffirmed that without any concrete proof, the Government will not declare the 39 missing Indians in as ' dead'. Making a statement in the Lok Sabha on the issue, Ms Swaraj said, 'Without evidence we cannot believe that Indians in Mosul over last three years are dead and we will continue to search for them.' She said the issue came to the notice of the Government when returned to India.' Why should I believe Harjit Masih's claims that the 39 Indians are dead? ' she added.

The External Affairs Minister said allegations were being made that she was "misleading the House" on the issue. 'I will not commit the sin of declaring the missing Indians in Iraq dead without evidence," she said. She said till now "no bodies have been found, no bloodstains, no list, no ISIS videos.' "Those who believe that the missing Indians are dead and I am lying then they are free to tell their families that they are dead. But if anyone turns up alive, then it will be their responsibility," she added. Ms Swaraj, however, said that there has been no direct contact with the nationals.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari only said they have no evidence of either the death or being alive, of the Indians, she said and asserted that the Government will continue to search the missing Indians. The group of Indian labourers, mostly from Punjab, were taken hostage by ISIS in Iraq's second largest city Mosul in 2014. (UNI)
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