39 Indians held hostage by ISIL in Iraq are alive: Sushma Swaraj

39 Indians who were abducted by ISIS in June 2014 are still alive says the Indian Foreign Minister and dismissed reports that they have been killed. However, fear of they being killed are increasing since the government could not provide any clues regarding their welfare.

Kurdish Peshmerga units monitoring the Daesh’s preparations before the government offensive to retake Mosul said that there is no evidence that any Indian or South Asian workers have been employed to dig trenches and gun positions. This grim assessment by Kurdish officials has increased fears that these workers may have been killed and buried in unmarked graves littered all over the areas controlled by ISIL.

A senior regional Government official said in an e-mail that, by all accounts the Indian workers were executed near Badoush (in Mosul) in a couple of days after they were taken a hostage and then buried in a mass grave near Sahaji.

The action by the government further adds to this confusion. Harjit Masih, who claimed that all the Indians were shot dead by ISIS fighters and he managed to escape with a graze bullet injury, is today in Gurdaspur jail after he was arrested in March this year for charges which include human trafficking and cheating.

He was detained on instructions of Ministry of External Affairs along with his relative Rajbir Masih, who works in Dubai. Relatives of the missing Indians allege that Masih cooked up the story, and he could have sold out the Indians to ISIL in return for his life.

Meanwhile, the government has made a statement in the Parliament that Masih has been placed under protective custody because there is a threat to his life from Daesh.