Fate of 39 Indians missing in Iraq for 3 years still unknown

Jerome Frank
July 25, 2017

There is no substantial evidence whether they are alive or not.

Besides the missing Indians, the Iraqi Minister and Sushma Swaraj are to discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Iraq today said it is "not 100 per cent sure" whether 39 Indians kidnapped by ISIS in Mosul three years ago - who remain missing - are alive.

External Affairs Minister was expected to make a statement in the Lok Sabha at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, but the House got adjourned at 2:30 p.m. due to ruckus by opposition MPs over lynching of people by cow-vigilantes.

His visit came just two weeks after Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of country's second largest city, Mosul, from ISIS.

He added that his government is doing its best to find the missing 39 Indians and that they are in constant touch with the Indian government.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, right, greets her Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari in New Delhi, Monday, July 24, 2017. "We heard the Iraqi minister say that he does not know whether the 39 missing Indians were dead or alive", said Chandigarh resident Davinder, whose elder brother Gobinder is among the missing.

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However, a media report on Saturday claimed that the prison was reduced to a rubble during the fighting between the Iraqi coalition forces and Islamic State.

"If the Indians are in problem and if the Indian government will not help them then who will help them?" he said.

Earlier, the Indian government had assured the family members of the missing Indians that they are safe. Our robust bilateral trade amounted to almost US$ 13 billion in 2016-17. Iraq has been one of the major suppliers of crude oil to India.

Most of the 39 Indians who went missing in 2014 are from Punjab. He met Swaraj in New Delhi for a discussion on bilateral relations between India and Iraq.

Iraqi forces liberated Mosul after 266 days of fierce battles, ending three years of Islamic State rule.

Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh was sent to Erbil in Iraq to pursue the matter.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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