New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has declared that 39 Indians who were believed to have been held captive by the Daesh in Mosul are dead. Swaraj informed the Indian Parliament on Tuesday that deep penetration radar confirmed that there were no Indians among those currently in Daesh's captivity. Fearing they were already killed, bodies buried at a suspected site were exhumed and sent to Baghdad for DNA sample verification and they matched with those of the missing Indians. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the DNA samples of 38 victims have matched while that of the 39th person has matched up to 70 percent.
EAM Sushma Swaraj now making statement on 39 Indians declared dead in Iraq in Lok Sabha pic.twitter.com/MvzPea6TdI— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) March 20, 2018
"The government had earlier assured us that my brother and other persons will be alive. We met the Foreign Minister several times, every time she assured us that the government is doing its best to find the Indians abducted by ISIS (Daesh*). But today Sushma Swaraj ji said that they'd all been killed, we are completely shattered now," Dimplejeet Kaur, sister of Dharminder from Gurdaspur, one of the victims, told Sputnik.
Harjit Kaur, wife of another victim, Gurcharan Singh, said that the announcement has left her shocked.
He left for Mosul in 2013-14. They had been saying that all of them are alright and now they say this. I don't even know what to say: Harjit Kaur, wife of Gurcharan Singh, who was among 39 Indians killed in Iraq's Mosul. #Amritsar pic.twitter.com/YMN2PxGATC— ANI (@ANI) March 20, 2018
Last year, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had brushed aside all the speculations about the death of the abductees, arguing that she would not declare they were dead unless there was concrete evidence to prove it.
Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh will be visiting Iraq to bring back the mortal remains to India.
"General V. K. Singh will go to Iraq to bring back mortal remains of Indians killed in Iraq. The plane carrying mortal remains will first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata," Sushma Swaraj said, addressing the Parliament.
* Daesh (ISIS) is a terrorist group which is banned in Russia