Indians killed by ISIS in Iraq's Mosul: Shashi Tharoor slams government, Harsimrat Kaur Badal defends it

Giving falsehood to people is actually cruel and suggests a certain level of lack transparency on part of the government, Tharoor said.

Published: 20th March 2018 02:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2018 02:59 PM   |  A+A-

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor (File | PTI)


NEW DELHI: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today slammed the government for 'encouraging' the families of the 39 Indians kidnapped in Iraq to believe they were alive, a charge countered by Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal who said it was important to verify the facts.

Giving falsehood to people is actually cruel and suggests a certain level of lack transparency on part of the government, Tharoor said.

It is better to be honest, he added.

"My prayers for the families who have lost their near ones after being really encouraged by the government for four years to believe that these people were alive," he told reporters outside Parliament.

Hitting back, Union Food Processing Minister and Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal accused the opposition leaders of playing politics over an unfortunate incident.

READ: 39 Indians kidnapped by IS in 2014 in Iraq's Mosul were killed: Sushma Swaraj; MoS VK Singh to bring back the bodies

Defending the government, she said it took every measure to verify if even one of those kidnapped was alive.

"Do you not think that it is the job of the government and especially the external affairs ministry to carry on looking for even one proof, even one person being alive until the all doors have been shut," the minister told reporters.

Tharoor's tweet:

Defending External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Badal said the former 'carried on the fight' trying to look for those who had been kidnapped.

"She (Swaraj) went on to the extent of having DNA sent over there and had proper proof that yes they are dead. She stood up in the Parliament and said yes I tried but I could not and today we have a proof", the minister added.

Swaraj said in a statement in the Rajya Sabha that all the 39 Indians abducted by the terror outfit in Iraq's Mosul about four years ago are dead and their bodies have been recovered.

Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with the families
of some of the Punjabi workers abducted in Iraq in June, 2014.
file Photo)

While it was not immediately known when the Indians were killed, their bodies were recovered from Badosh, a village northwest of Mosul, and their identities established through DNA testing, she said.

The mortal remains, which were exhumed from a mass grave in Badosh, will be brought back to India on a special plane and handed over to their relatives, she said.

Many of those in the group of 39 are from Punjab.


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