Families of 39 Indians taken hostage in Iraq meet Swaraj

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, February 22, 2015

Swaraj says govt. doing best to secure release of Indian hostages in Iraq
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that the government is making every possible effort to secure the release of 39 Indians who were taken hostage in the war-torn Iraqi city of Mosul in June last year.
At a meeting here yesterday with members of the families of the workers, most of whom are from Punjab, Ms Swaraj said the government had no conclusive evidence about whether hostages were still alive, but various sources had indicated to it that they had not been harmed.
Based on these inputs, the government was making every possible effort to secure their release, she told them, adding that no stone was being left unturned in this regard.
Ms Swaraj said the government was in touch with various countries, organisations and individuals in the region as part of this effort.
This was the sixth time that the families of the hostages had met Ms Swaraj and she used the opportunity to once again brief them about the steps being taken to trace the workers and bring them home. She also assured them that she would meet them whenever they wished.
"Every time we meet, we brief the families about the efforts being made by us.  There is no evidence, as I have said earlier, too, about whether they are dead or alive. But in the efforts we are making, our sources tell us that they have not been killed," she told reporters after the meeting.
"With this belief, we are continuing our efforts to secure their release. Today too, I briefed them about the efforts made by the government since our last meeting so that they go back satisfied," she said.
"I told them that they can meet me whenever they wanted to. I also told them that when we do have some news, we will ourselves call them," she added.

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