'All Indian hostages in Iraq Alive'

Published: 19th September 2015 05:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2015 05:40 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met with the kin of the 39 Indians in Iraq on Friday and told them that multiple third party sources had indicated their continuing survival and that they had been “put to work”.

Swaraj met the families of the 39 Indians who have been taken hostage for over a year in ISIS-occupied Mosul, where they were working with a construction company.

This is the eighth time Swaraj is meeting the families – the last one being in mid-July. Minister of State for Food Processing, Harsimrat Kaur Badal was also present at the meeting which took place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan.

Official sources said that the meeting had been sought by the families. “The Minister said that there was unfortunately nothing new to add since the last meeting. But, she assured them that multiple sources continue to vouch that they are alive,” Badal stated. Swaraj told the family members that “the men were not in a jail, but had been put to work.” She assured them that the government was making all possible efforts to get them back. Swaraj did again allude to the statement by the sole escapee, Harjit Masih, who claimed that all of them had been killed.

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