Harjit Masih returns to India from Iraq, claims 39 Indians killed by ISIS; Sushma Swaraj disagrees

Delhi: Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Monday denied reports that all 39 Indians abducted in war-torn Iraq had been killed by the terror group Islamic State or the ISIS.

Swarj said, “I did not believe Harjit Masih's claims that 39 Indians were killed,” and added, “I've met family members of Indian nationals who are stranded in Iraq, had discussions with them.”

The Minister further said that eight sources had confirmed to them that the Indians were are alive.

“Harjit Masih is claiming that all of them are dead, but I do not believe him, will continue with search” Swaraj reiterated, as per ANI.

Talking to reporters in the national capital, Swaraj also said that earlier she had six sources but now she had two more. “Eighth source is reliable, there's no point in doubting my source. There is only (Masih) who is saying they are dead, whereas eight sources are claiming they are alive,” she said.

One of the 40 men, Masih, who had been abducted by the ISIS last year, returned to India after escaping from ISIS' clutches in Iraq.

Media reports have quoted him as saying that the militant group had killed rest of the 39 Indians.

Meanwhile, the Congress tonight sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarification on the fate of 39 Indians in Iraq.

"Revelation by Harjit Masih that all 39 Indians have been mercilessly killed by terrorists in Iraq is shocking," Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said, as per PTI.

He noted that Modi government has always maintained that all the 40 Indians including Masih were safe.

"In the light of these damning revelation, the PM must personally state whether 39 Indians have been killed and his government has been misleading the nation," Surjewala said.

He added that if this was not the case, then government should say what is the evidence that Indian hostages were alive and by when will it be able to ensure their safe return.

(With Agency inputs)

Source http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/harjit-masih-returns-to-india-from-iraq-claims-39-indians-killed-by-isis-sushma-swaraj-disagrees_1595364.html


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