Mortal remains of 38 Indians killed in Iraq by IS arrive in Amritsar

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Mortal remains of 38 Indians killed in Iraq by IS arrive in Amritsar

Minister of state for external affairs General VK Singh on Monday conveyed his thanks to the forensic laboratories in Iraq for their support in conducting the tests to identify the bodies of 38 Indians, who were abducted in 2014 and then killed by the Islamic State in Mosul.

The mortal remains of the 38 Indian men arrived in Punjab’s Amritsar on Monday afternoon on a special aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

The Indian workers were shot dead, most of them in the head, according to forensic tests. Iraq’s department of forensic medicine under its ministry of health conducted the tests (and the DNA tests) on the bodies that had been exhumed by Martyrs Foundation from a mound in Badush, near Mosul.

“We are thankful to the authorities in Iraq for the help (they rendered) to locate the victims and exhume the mortal remains. The government of India did its best to know about the missing Indians,” Singh told the media.

Singh said that external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had asked the families for the details of members, who they wanted to be given jobs to, when asked whether the government will employ them.

“This is not a game of football. Both the state and central governments are sensitive governments… We will review,” he added.

The coffins of 31 victims, 27 from Punjab and four from Himachal Pradesh, were handed over to the respective authorities at the Amritsar airport and seven coffins were shifted to another aircraft to be flown to West Bengal (3) and Bihar (4).

Singh left for Iraq on Sunday afternoon to bring back the remains of the Indians killed in the strife-torn country. He flew in a C-17 plane, the largest cargo aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

Forty Indians were kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) terrorists near Mosul in Iraq in June 2014. One of them managed to escape captivity by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh.

Last month, Swaraj informed Parliament about the abduction of Indians and the 39 deaths. The statement, however, led to a political row as critics questioned her decision to inform the House before breaking the news to the victims’ kin.


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