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Fresh worry over missing Indians


New Delhi - Doubts have arisen over the whereabouts of 39 missing Indians, taken captive by Islamic militants three years ago, following media reports that the Badush prison in Iraq where they were believed to have been lodged had been reduced to rubble.
Six days ago, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had told kin of the missing construction workers (most of them are from Punjab) that they were probably in Badush, northwest of Mosul. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) did not comment on the media reports. However, some clarity is expected when Iraqi Foreign Minister Dr Ibrahim al-Jaafari arrives on a four-day visit to India on Monday.
Reports emanating from Badush say the prison has been destroyed and that there are no prisoners.  Harjit Masih of Gurdaspur district, among those to have fled from captivity three years ago, had told the media back home that his 39 compatriots had been killed.
Last month, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Bagley had said the Indians were alive since there was no information to the contrary.
Going on the offensive, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala today tweeted: “Unfortunate that Sushmaji & MEA continue to mislead the families of 39 Indians missing in Iraq. Not just clueless but also heartless”.
DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK said the government seemed clueless and that the External Affairs Minister should insist on definite information during her meeting with the Iraqi minister.
Cong to move privilege motion against Swaraj
Chandigarh: Partap Singh Bajwa said on Saturday he would bring a privilege motion against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for "misleading Parliament and the nation" about the missing youths. The Rajya Sabha MP said: "The families of the missing Indians as well as the nation wants to know the truth.”

 

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