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India confirms 39 Indians missing in Iraq since 2014 are dead

India confirms 39 Indians missing in Iraq since 2014 are dead

India confirms 39 Indians missing in Iraq since 2014 are dead

In her suo motu statement in the Rajya Sabha, Swaraj said that she would "not declare anyone dead without substantive proof".

She confirmed the deaths while speaking in the Rajya Sabha (upper house of parliament) on Tuesday. She said DNA tests matched the workers with bodies recently found in a mass grave. "The 39th had a partial match as he didn't have any immediate family", said Swaraj.

In 2014, 40 Indian construction workers went missing outside the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Last year Swaraj told parliament that the government didn't have enough evidence to prove their deaths.

Among the 39 Indians who were missing, most were from different places in Punjab like Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, and Jalandhar, while a few belonged to Himachal Pradesh and Bihar. "Till late in the evening, none of the officials from either the centre or the West Bengal government has approached us", Abhishek Hira, cousin of Khokhon Sikdar, said. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad reminded the minister about her comment in which she had assured that the Indians were alive.

After they were discovered with the help of deep penetration radar, the bodies were exhumed and sent to Baghdad for forensic analysis. There are worries that the pension might now be discontinued, but for most families, the money doesn't matter.

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India's Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of NY, U.S., September 26, 2016. "But we were kidnapped by militants and kept hostage for some days", he said. "We wanted to give the families closure", she said. "When the government could save nurses from Kerala why it completely failed in saving other Indians", he asked.

"For the last four years the same minister has been telling me that we have traced their location and they're alive", Gurpinder Kaur, sister of one of the dead workers, told reporters in Punjab. I have no other information about it. "I am trying to know from the government how all this happened", she said. My heart goes out to their families who have lost their hope to bring them back alive. "Prayers with all of them".

Hitting out at the government over the issue, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said, "Giving falsehood to people is actually cruel and suggests a certain level of lack of transparency on part of the government".

Desperate of a job overseas for a good income to help their families back home, most of these Punjab 31 men have left behind ailing old parents, young wives, sisters and brother who can't stop shedding tears as their long hope of seeing them again has finally come to an end.

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