No evidence 39 Indians are dead, search to continue: Sushma
00:53, Jul 27, 2017
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"Declaring anyone dead without proof is a sin and I won't commit a sin", Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha, responding to allegations that she was "misleading the house" on whether the Indians were alive.
Swaraj said she told her Iraqi counterpart that she will not accept anything on the issue without "proof" and requested him to continue search for them.
Meanwhile, a Punjab government official said that they were in touch with the external affairs ministry "to ensure that all efforts are made to trace the missing Indians and to get them back home safely".
In 2014, 39 Indian labourers, mostly from Punjab, were taken hostage by Islamic State when it took control over Iraq's second largest city Mosul.
We had six sources claiming that the missing Indians were alive...
Sushma said she is ready to clarify in Lok Sabha on the Mosul situation after the Iraqi government earlier this week said it has no "substantial evidence" on whether the 39 Indians taken captive in Mosul three years ago are alive or dead. "No one including their families will ask me anything after that", Swaraj said, adding that she isn't planning to do that. We are equally concerned.
Swaraj also told the House that she had spoken to her Turkey counterpart and that country had agreed to help trace the abducted Indians.
During his visit to India, Mr.al-Jafari said his country was not sure if the Indians (http://thehindu.com/news/national/iraq-not-sure-of-fate-of-39-indians/article19347089.ece) "are dead or alive".
The external affairs minister cited an example of the Congress government declaring a soldier martyr in 1971 war and after 45 years, it was found that he was in a jail in Pakistan.
Family members of the other missing persons echoed similar views as they said that the Central government did not have any concrete information about their missing family members. They were captured and later lodged in Badush prison. "Why should I believe Harjit Masih's claims?" The Islamic State has so far not claimed any responsibility for the abduction, nor have they claimed to have killed the Indians.
"It's easier for me to declare them dead because then nobody would question me".
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