No evidence of killing of 39 Indians: Sushma Swaraj

RSTV Bureau

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a statement in Lok Sabha on the status of the 39 missing Indians in Iraq and said that she cannot declare anyone ‘dead’ without credible evidence.

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo / TV GRAB

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo / TV GRAB

“There is no concrete evidence that the 39 Indians abducted from Mosul in Iraq have been killed and “I will not commit the sin” of declaring them dead without any evidence,” said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj (centre) met family members of 39 Indian men missing in Iraq since June 2014 in Delhi on Sunday.  File Photo of  PTI

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj (centre) met family members of 39 Indian men missing in Iraq since June 2014 in Delhi on Sunday.
File Photo of PTI

Making a forceful statement in the Lok Sabha, Swaraj said the government will continue its efforts to trace the Indians till it gets evidence that they are dead.

“This file will not close till there is proof that the 39 Indians were dead. I will not commit the sin of declaring them dead without any evidence,” Swaraj said, two days after holding talks with Iraqi foreign minister on the issue.

The external affairs minister said she had never misled Parliament or the families of the abducted Indians.

“I have never misled. I want to ask the opposition what benefit will I get by misleading. What benefit my government gets by misleading the people on the issue,” she said.

Iraqi Foreign minister Ibrahim al- Jaafari who visited India last week said that he had no “substantial evidence” on whether the missing persons were killed or alive.

Meanwhile, Family members of 39 Indians, who were abducted in Mosul three years ago, have expressed pain and dejection after the Iraqi minister also said that best efforts were being made to get information about the missing Indians.