Govt misleading nation over missing youths in Iraq: Cong

Juvenile-Justice-Bill-in-Rajya-SabhaCongress members in Rajya Sabha today accused the government of misleading Parliament on the issue of 39 Indian youths going missing in Iraq two years ago, with an Akali Dal member also seeking an update on the matter.

Raising the issue of the missing Indians during the Zero Hour, Pratap Singh Bajwa (Cong) charged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with having “misled Parliament and the nation” on the issue.

In June 2014, he said 40 people, mostly from Punjab, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh, were kidnapped by the terror syndicate ISIS.

Bajwa said one Harjeet, belonging to Gurdaspur district, had managed to escape and later gave a statement that all the Indians were killed before his eyes. He added that Swaraj had then assured Akali Dal leaders that the government had information from six sources which confirmed that all these people were alive.

Surprisingly, the Congress MP also sought the government to send an all-party delegation to Iraq to know the ground reality.

“We have been taking the nation and Parliament for a ride for two years,” Bajwa said adding if the abducted youths were alive, they should be brought back or else their parents should be informed that they are no longer alive.

Senior party MP Ambika Soni also said, “We want to know what has happened to those 39 people”.

Associating himself with the sentiments of the Congress MPs, Naresh Gujral, member of NDA partner Akali Dal, demanded that the External Affairs Minister make a statement on the issue.