Minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj on Sunday met relatives of the 39 labours kidnapped from Mosul in 2014 and expressed confidence that they would be set free shortly as India had got input that they were perhaps lodged in a prison close to Mosul.
As per Swaraj, the abducted Indians could be in Jail at Badush, a village in northern Iraq, where battle is underway between ISIS and Iraqi government forces.
Union Foreign minister Swaraj said Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim AI Jaafari will to come to India on July 24 and could get more details about the missing Indians. “East Mosul has been totally liberated from Islamic States and now structures are being cleaned and civilians are barred by authorities from entering the area as there may be bombs and other explosives,” Swaraj said. Battle is going on in west of Mosul, she further said. Minister of state for external affairs VK Singh had visited Iraq after Iraqi PM declared the freedom of Mosul from Islamic States.
“An official who quoted intelligence sources informed VK Singh that the construction labourers were deputed for hospital construction and then in a company. From there, they were taken to a prison in Badush, where battle is going on. No information has been received since then,” Swaraj told media persons. She informed kin of the missing men, who are largely from Punjab, about the details collected by VK Singh.
“We contacted kin of all missing men. I had already met them 10 or 12 times before, but this time the situation was different as the Iraqi Prime Minister had announced that Mosul had been liberated from the IS. On that same day, I sent VK Singh to Iraq and asked him to gather information about the Indian nationals,” Swaraj said.