39 Indians abducted in Iraq by Islamic State: Victims' families 'hopeful' of reunion after meeting Sushma Swaraj

Families of 39 Indians abducted in Iraq by the Islamic State are hopeful that their loved ones would be re-united with them

PTI July 17, 2017 07:11:18 IST
39 Indians abducted in Iraq by Islamic State: Victims' families 'hopeful' of reunion after meeting Sushma Swaraj

Chandigarh: Families of 39 Indians abducted in Iraq by the Islamic State are hopeful that their loved ones would be re-united with them.

The families, mostly from Punjab, were hoping to receive some "good news" about their kin after the defeat of the terror group in Mosul.

They met Union Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday in Delhi who informed them that those abducted might be lodged in a jail in Badush in northwest Mosul.

39 Indians abducted in Iraq by Islamic State Victims families hopeful of reunion after meeting Sushma Swaraj

File image of Sushma Swaraj. PTI

"We have kept our hopes alive about our family members who went missing in Iraq three years ago," Davinder, whose elder brother Gobinder (45) is missing in Iraq, told PTI.

"We still have hope...we have not got any bad news yet from the government's side," he said.

"Badush is still under the control of the Islamic State. It will take at least 2-3 months to get the area freed from its control and then the government will be in a position to say something more," said Davinder, a resident of Murar village in Punjab's Kapurthala district.

He said it was the 12th meeting of family members of missing men with the Union minister since their disappearance.

Gurpinder Kaur, whose brother Manjinder Singh has been missing, said she was on Sunday hoping to hear "good news" after the Iraqi government announced the liberation of Mosul from the Islamic State.

"We thought that we will get to hear some good news about our family members during today's meeting but we were told they have been kept in a jail. The government does not have any information whether they are safe or not," said Gurpinder, a resident of Bhoewal village in Amritsar district.

Sarwan, a resident of Amritsar district whose brother Nishan (30) is missing, said his family was hoping that the missing persons were safe and sound wherever they were in Iraq.

Swaraj on Sunday said her Iraqi counterpart might bring fresh information about them when he visits India on 24 July.

She had earlier assured Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh that her ministry was making all-out efforts to trace the Indians.

Amarinder had called up Swaraj recently to seek her intervention, saying that the families were keenly awaiting the return of their kin following the defeat of the Islamic State and needed the Central government's support in bringing them back.

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