No proof that Indians in Iraq have been killed, clarifies government
New Delhi: Taking strong note of the reports claiming that 39 Indian workers were killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said that there is no evidence to confirm Harjeet Massih's claim that the Indian nationals were killed.
Responding to the demands made by the Opposition for a clarification from government, Swaraj told the Parliament that the reports about their killing have been making rounds for a while and the source of all such reports was Harjeet, the lone Indian survivor who managed to escape from the captivity of the ISIS.
“Government not in direct contact with kidnapped Indians but through six sources that say they are alive; no solid proof if they are alive or not,” PTI quoted her as saying.
On the fate of Harjeet, she said, "Lone escapee from ISIS captivity Harjit Singh is safe in protective care of government."
Swaraj further said that the government will continue its efforts even if there is 1 per cent chance that they are alive.
The clarification comes in the wake of some media reports claiming that 39 out of forty missing Indian workers in Iraq since June this year have been killed by the ISIS terrorists. The reports are based on the claims made by two Bangladeshi workers, Shafi and Hasan, who were kidnapped by the terror outfit in the same month.
The duo, identified as Shafi and Hasan, were working for a construction company in Kurdistan's capital Erbil. They mentioned about one Indian worker, Harjeet Masih, when they met an Indian journalist who travelled to Iraq on spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shanker's peace mission.
Last week, the Government of India had dispatched two senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs to Erbil. Sanjay Rana, deputy envoy in Maldives, and Abu Mathen George, second secretary in Cairo, were sent to Erbil to strengthen the staff presence in the Indian camp in the Iraqi city.