India confirms of 39 killed by IS

India confirms of 39 killed by IS

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed in the Rajya Sabha today that the 39 Indians were killed in the Iraqi city of Mosul, liberated from the dreaded group in June past year.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that the 39 Indians have been confirmed dead after verification of their DNAs, in Rajya Sabha.

"Yesterday we got information that DNA samples of 38 people have matched and DNA of the 39th person has matched 70 per cent", Swaraj reportedly said.

The government had for years insisted they were believed still alive and the latest announcement sparked criticism from some relatives of the dead. Sushma Swaraj said that 39 Indians missing in Mosul have been killed.

The Indian External Affairs Minister also informed the House that VK Singh will go to Iraq and bring the bodies back to India.

Harjit Masih, one of the hostages who escaped from Iraq's Mosul, earlier on Tuesday said that the Government has mislead families of all the 39 Indian hostages killed in Iraq by ISIS. "The plane carrying the mortal remains will first reach Amritsar, then Patna and then go to Kolkata", Sushma Swaraj said.

But Swaraj has consistently disputed his account of the hostages' deaths and said on Tuesday that Masih had escaped from Iraq by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh.

Kaur demanded the DNA reports and said, "We had been running from pillar to post since four years and now we're being told via TV that we lost one of our own".

India has confirmed that 39 of its citizens, missing since being kidnapped by ISIS in 2014, have been found dead in a mass grave in northern Iraq. Four state governments - Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar - were involved, she said.

Indias ambassador to Iraq Pradeep Singh Rajpurohit said: "It is indeed a moment of deep grief and sadness for us to learn that a group of Indian workers in Mosul have become victims of the menace of terrorism".

Refuting claims of mistreatment made by Masih, an Indian labourer who had gone to Iraq for work, Swaraj said he was never harassed by the government and that he was kept in protective custody.

Some of the families have expressed anguish that till now Swaraj continued to assure them that the captured Indians were alive.

"With full proof I can say these 39 are dead", the minister said. He said the bodies will be sent back to India "in a couple of weeks or so".

Since the kidnapping in Mosul in 2014, the Indian government had maintained that they were alive.

The bodily remains were identified with the help of DNA samples of their family members.