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Transcript of Press Conference by Embassy of India, Baghdad on issue of 39 Indians in Iraq

March 20, 2018

  • It is indeed a moment of deep grief and sadness for us to learn that the group of Indians workers in Mosul had become victim of the menace of terrorism. We express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families in India. Out of the 39 missing Indians, until now DNAs of a total of 38 human remains have matched with the DNAs obtained from the blood samples of the relatives from the States of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal handed over by us to the Iraqi Forensics Department. The Process in the case of remaining one individual is underway.
  • Our Government has attached very high importance to this incident of kidnapping of Indian workers in Mosul in June 2014. The operation of searching the missing Indians has been carried out under the direct supervision of our External Affairs Minister Her Excellency Mrs. SushmaSwaraj. Our Minister of State for External Affairs General Dr. V. K. Singh has visited Iraq, including to Mosul, three times in the last 9 months for this purpose. We received tremendous cooperation and support from the Government of Iraq in this endeavour.
  • On behalf of the Government of India, I sincerely thank the Martyrs’ Foundation of Iraq and its President Her Excellency Madam Najiha Al Shemari, His Excellency MrFalah Al Fayyadh, the National Security Advisor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Forensics Department of Iraq for their sincere efforts and hard work in retrieving the human remains of the Indian Nationals.
  • We deeply appreciate Iraq’s security agencies and Iraqi forces in locating the mass grave around Badush village near Mosul. We especially thank efforts of the Nineveh Centre for Security and Intelligence in Mosul and its Head General Najim Al Jabouri in this endeavour.
  • We commend efforts of the Martyrs’ Foundation for excavating the mass grave and bringing the human remains immediatelyto Baghdad despite their limited resources. We are thankful to the hard work put in place by the officials of the Department of Mass Graves and Forensics in retrieving the human remains from the mass grave. We also thank them for timely advising us to collect the blood samples of the relatives of the missing Indians. Hence, the process of collection of blood samples could have been completed well in time.
  • We are grateful to the Forensics Department of Ministry of Health of Iraq for their hard work in completing the process of matching the DNAs retrieved from the human remains with the blood samples of the relatives of the deceased Indians brought from India. They accomplished the entire process despite their tremendous work pressure and busy schedule.
  • India strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stands in solidarity with the Government and the people of Iraq in their fight against terrorism which threatens all societies across the globe. India has been a victim of terrorist violence for long. This incident is yet another reminder of the necessity of concerted action on the part of the international community to fight the scourge of terrorism.
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