All 39 Indian Hostages, Missing Since 2014, Killed By Islamic StateExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with the families of the workers earlier. (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today informed the Rajya Sabha that the 39 Indians who went missing in Iraq in 2014 have been killed by the Islamic State (IS).

Swaraj informed the upper house that the DNA samples of the workers have matched with the remains found in mass graves around Mosul which confirms the deaths.

Minister of State for External Affairs, General VK Singh oversaw the tests on the bodies found from the mass graves and will be making arrangements to get the remains home.

40 Indian workers had been held hostage by the IS ever since 2014, when they overran Mosul where the workers were employed. Mosul the second largest city in Iraq, has only recently been liberated from the terrorist organisation and is now under the control of the Iraqi Army. Several mass graves have been discovered in and around the city after its liberation by the security forces.

The labourers were mostly from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal with one, Harjit Masih having managed to escape the IS. Harjit had then claimed that he saw the other workers being massacred by the IS but the government had dismissed his claims citing lack of proof.

However, now the deaths have been confirmed and the upper house observed a moment of silence following Swaraj’s announcement.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber