New Delhi: New Delhi has activated various channels for locating 39 missing Indians who were reportedly kept in captivity in Mosul, India said on Monday after the liberation of the Iraqi city from the Islamic State (IS).
India welcomed the liberation of Mosul, calling it an important milestone in the global war on terror. The news also gave new hope to the families of the missing Indians.
“Liberation of Mosul from ISIS is an important milestone in the global war on terror, and India welcomes it. As soon as the announcement of liberation of Mosul was made by the prime minister of Iraq, the government activated various channels for locating those Indians," said Indian foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay on Monday in response to a query regarding the fate of 39 Indians missing in Iraq and reportedly kept in Mosul.
He said minister of state for external affairs V.K. Singh will travel to the Iraqi city of Erbil later on Monday.
“The ambassador of India to Iraq and our consul general in Erbil have been instructed to continue the efforts to locate them on priority. Iraqi authorities have conveyed that all cooperation would be extended in this regard and instructions have been issued by them to all relevant Iraqi agencies for the same," Baglay added.
In June 2014, 39 Indians were abducted by the IS and have remained untraced since then. Their families have repeatedly petitioned foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to secure their release. Swaraj had met family members and representatives of these 39 Indians early in June over the issue.
On 16 June, Baglay said that India is in touch with all countries that can help it trace the missing Indians. “According to the information that we have they are alive… We have no information that can prove that they are not alive. We are moving ahead on the basis of that only," Baglay said.