Families of 39 Indians killed in Mosul feel betrayed by BJP govt

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the press conference on Tuesday

Then, he said, the militants began to shoot.

"They were killed in front of my eyes", he told reporters Tuesday in his north Indian home village.

Masih was shot in the thigh but managed to escape to Kurdish-controlled Irbil. Daesh is the Arabic acronym for ISIS. The DNA test for the remaining body has yet to be fully confirmed. "Their dignity was supposed to be protected, but the forces of evil wanted to defame the principles of Islam".

The 39 construction workers, drawn from Punjab, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Bengal, were taken hostage when the barbaric terrorist outfit overran Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in 2014.

Several relatives of slain workers have been complaining that they were not officially informed about their loved ones by any government authority. The 39 Indian workers were captured as the militants secured a swathe of territory in northern Iraq. Iraqi officials have said they lack the resources and trained personnel to properly exhume so many sites.

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At the height of its power, IS controlled almost a third of the country. After Iraq recaptured the area around Mosul, search operations led to a mound of dirt near Badush, where local residents said bodies had been buried by the ISIS, Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said in Parliament.

"After the Martyrs Foundation sought DNA samples of missing Indians, we collected the same through four state governments in September previous year", Sushma Swaraj said, adding that the government sought a "deep penetration radar" of the mound.

Sushma said the bodies of all but one had been identified with the help of DNA samples collected last year and early this year from the relatives of the missing Indians.

Masih's story of escape, and then being jailed by Indian authorities on the charges of human trafficking is one compelling tale itself. Analysis on the last body is still underway.

"It was not falsehood but a tireless effort, the kind of effort that has never been made in this country", the minister claimed, although E. Ahamed, who was junior foreign minister in the UPA government, had used his contacts in the Gulf to secure the release of three Indian truckers who had been kidnapped in Iraq in 2004.

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