Fate of 39 Indians missing in Iraq for 3 years still unknown

Posted July 25, 2017

"We're not 100 per cent sure whether they're alive or not, we don't know".

The Union Minister also told family members that Al-Jafari might shed some light on the possible whereabouts of the kidnapped Indian citizens.

In a major setback to India's efforts to trace the missing Indians in Iraq, the Iraqi Foreign Minister said that he is not sure about the fate of 39 missing Indians.

This was revealed by the Iraqi Minister during his meeting with Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. Last week, she met the relatives of the missing Indians and said they might be imprisoned in Badush region of northwest Mosul.

On the second day of his visit, the Iraqi Foreign Minister will attend a programme in the National Capital and on Wednesday he will fly to Mumbai to attend a programme.

The Iraqi minister had also stressed that best efforts were being made to get information about the 39 missing Indians. We have no substantial evidence that they were killed or they were still alive, so we can't say anything to you in that regard. However, the government refuted Masih's claim and maintained that the missing Indians are alive.

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The also follows recent reports that the prison in the nearby city of Badush, where the abductees were allegedly held, is now destroyed and empty.

Dejected by the Iraqi government's disclosure that it has "no substantial information" on 39 Indians taken hostage by the Islamic State in Mosul, family members of the missing workers from Punjab on Monday sought a clarification on the issue from the Centre. "We will do our utmost in the case, but it may take time", he said.

The bilateral trade between the two amounted to $13 billion in 2016-17.

Sources said former Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa was to give the notice on Monday, but his party asked him to wait for the External Affairs Minister's statement. He met Swaraj in New Delhi for a discussion on bilateral relations between India and Iraq.

When Iraqi forces "liberated" Mosul this month, New Delhi rushed minister of state for external affairs V.K. Singh to Irbil and Baghdad.