External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj confirmed the deaths of the 39 Indians who were abducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from Mosul, the major city of northern Iraq, in 2014. The families of the victims had been fostering a hope in their hearts for their safe return.
The bodies were dug out of the ground from a mass grave and sent for DNA verification in Baghdad. The minister said that DNA samples of 38 victims have matched completely except the 39th victim. His DNA matched 70, which is good enough to be sure of his identification.
For this unusual delay, opposition Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, ‘This is upsetting for every Indian, rest I would ask why the government delayed this information, they should tell how it happened when they died. Also, the way government gave high hopes to the families was not right.’
The only Indian to escape the abductors was Harjit Masih who claimed that the others were shot dead on June 15, 2014.
Earlier, ISIS captured a group of 40 men from the war-ravaged city of Mosul. Most of the victims were construction workers.