All 39 Indians held hostage by ISIS in Iraq are safe: claims Govt
NEW DELHI: All the 39
Indians held hostage in Mosul town of Iraq by ISIS militants over a year ago
were ‘safe’, government said on Wednesday quoting multiple third party sources
and asserted that efforts were on to secure their release.
Union minister of state
for external affairs VK Singh said government was in ‘close and regular’
contact with relevant Iraqi government authorities to obtain information on
their whereabouts and safety.
“As per latest
information from multiple third party sources, they are all safe. The
government is making all efforts and taking all steps to secure their release,”
Singh said, replying to a question in Lok Sabha. The minister said safety and
security of the Indians remained a matter of foremost concern and preoccupation
for the government.
Replying to a separate
question, Singh said, “as per information received from Indian Embassy in
Baghdad, 39 Indians are held under the captivity of Islamic state of Mosul.” He
said a group of senior officials are stationed in Erbil in Kurdistan Autonomous
Regions of Iraq to liaison with government authorities and individuals to
secure release of the Indians.
Singh said external
affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had personally spoken to her counterparts in the
Gulf Cooperation Council as well as other friendly countries in the region to
assist in locating the Indian nationals. The Indian nationals were taken
hostage by the ISIS on June 11 last year in northern Iraq's Mosul town.
Harjeet Masih (26), the
lone Indian who escaped from the clutches of ISIS militants in Iraq, in May had
claimed that all the 39 Indians had been ‘shot dead’.