Still no new on Indians missing in Iraq

Sushma Swaraj to hold talks with Iraqi counterpart on Indians abducted by IS

She has maintained that they have received inputs from sources over the months of the 39 men being alive. "We will continue to look for more details about them", Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told a press conference here.

As liberation of Mosul brightened chances of information about the kidnapped Indians, Swaraj, in a meeting with their relatives last week, had said that they might be languishing in a jail in Badush in northwest of Mosul where fighting was going on. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who began a five-day India visit on Monday, held extensive talks with Swaraj.

We heard the Iraqi minister say that he does not know whether the 39 missing Indians were dead or alive. "We have announced financial incentives too for any information on the missing Indians", said Al Jafari.He appealed to the Indian people to have patience as he expressed hope that his government would be able to trace the Indians. He said the government initially said the Indians were in Mosul.

Al-Jaafari, who had also served as Iraq's prime minister between 2005 and 2006, said that there was also no evidence to show that the 39 Indians had ever been in Badush jail.

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The group of Indian labourers, mostly from Punjab, was taken hostage by ISIS when it overran Iraq's second largest city Mosul in 2014. Earlier this month, Iraqi forces, after months of battle with ISIS, rooted out the terrorist organisation from the soil of Mosul. However, media reports later said that the prison had been completely destroyed. He said some IS-held areas were still being cleared.

"We are not sure whether they are alive or not, we don't know".

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

Sushma Swaraj has met the families of the 39 persons around a dozen times since they were abducted in June 2014 and assured them that the government was doing everything to locate them. He met Swaraj in New Delhi for a discussion on bilateral relations between India and Iraq.

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