Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Not 100% Sure Whether 39 Indians Dead Or Alive, Iraqi Foreign Minister

Not sure if 39 missing Indians are alive says Iraq foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to hold talks with Iraqi counterpart on Indians abducted by IS
Andrew Cummings | 25 July, 2017, 11:59

One of the captured Indians, Harjit Masih from Gurdaspur, had managed to escape and had claimed to have witnessed the massacre of the others. Baghdad on Sunday said that in a high-level coordination with New Delhi efforts are being made to trace the 39 missing Indians.

The Iraqi Foreign Minister is on a five-day visit to India.

The government had earlier said the hostages were last seen at a prison in Badush, near Mosul, which is witnessing one of the fiercest fights between Islamic State militants and joint Iraqi and USA forces.

Al-Jaafari's comments came after Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh visited Iraq after Iraqi forces aided by an worldwide coalition liberated Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation on July 9. But a media report from Badush said the jail is abandoned now, he said. He said Singh's information, that the Indians were lodged in the jail, was based on inputs gathered before its demolition.

He's also scheduled to meet Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan in the afternoon. He said the Peshmerga were still clearing the ISIS held areas.

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The company has also chose to acquire 2.52 crore shares in Balaji Telefilms for Rs 413.28 crore through a preferential issue. Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms , makers of shows like Naagin and Kumkum Bhagya will now be a Reliance company.

He demanded that the government make the status of the missing Indians clear.

The Iraqi foreign minister described the information as "inaccurate" and said the IS is known to circulate information that is "untrue".

Al-Jaafari tried to assure the families of the missing that the Iraq government was doing all it could to search for the men and even announced a financial incentive.

In a meeting with the relatives of the abducted Indians last week, Swaraj had said they might be languishing in a jail in Badush, northwest of Mosul, where fighting was going on. "I deal with them as if they are my children".

Describing ISIS as a "furious monster with most horrific acts", he "beseeched" the families that it would "take time" to find an answer. Both sides are also looking to strengthen intelligence exchange as well as defence cooperation, the minister indicated. He met Swaraj in New Delhi for a discussion on bilateral relations between India and Iraq.

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