The family members of 39 Indians killed in Iraq on Tuesday slammed External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj for giving false assurance of them being alive and demanded their DNA reports.
“Why did she keep saying they're alive and she'll bring them back? She could've said she'll bring them back only if they're alive. I want to see DNA reports,” said Gurpinder Kaur, sister of Manjinder Singh, who was among the 39 Indians killed in Mosul.
She said Swaraj only cared about her “reputation” and not the feeling of family members of the victims by keeping them in the dark.
The foreign minister, however, said that she didn’t keep anyone in dark as her government neither had the evidence of them being alive nor the evidence of them being dead.
On families saying that the government should have informed them before confirming the deaths in Parliament, Swaraj said, “it was my duty to inform the House first.”
Reacting to her statement, Kaur said, “Yes, she was supposed to announce this in Parliament first but he was part of our family. All she cared about was her reputation. She used to say they're like her children, if that's the case where's her sorrow.”
Another Swaran Singh, whose kin was among the 39 abducted and killed by the Islamic State in Mosul echoed similar sentiments.
“This is nothing less than brutality to the families who were waiting for the safe return of their boys. The minister should have called us before exploding the bomb on us,” Singh said.
“The families may file a case against the Central government for keeping them in the dark,” he added.
In 2014, as many as 40 Indians were taken hostage by the Islamic State when they took control of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. One of them escaped posing as a Bangladeshi Muslim.