New Delhi, March 20: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday cited the protocol for not informing Kin of 39 Indians Killed in Iraq before the parliament.
Addressing media, she said “Some kin of the victims have questioned as to why they were not told about the deaths before the parliament. It is the parliamentary procedure to first inform the house, so it was my duty”.
“It would have been a sin had we handed over anybody’s body claiming it to be those of our people, just for the sake of closing files”, Swaraj added.
The EAM also lambasted the Congress party for creating a ruckus in the Lok Sabha when she was speaking on the issue.
Swaraj said, “In Rajya Sabha, everyone listened to me very patiently and peacefully. Everyone paid tribute, I thought same would happen in Lok Sabha. But unlike the past few days of ruckus, today Congress led the protests under Jyotiraditya Scindia,” adding, “It was very unfortunate.”
She further stated that Congress is doing a very low level of politics and it has crossed all limits in the Lok Sabha.
“We had been saying that we neither have the evidence of them being alive nor the evidence of them being dead. We maintained this in 2014 and 2017. We did not keep anyone in dark. We gave no false hopes to anyone”.
The DNA samples of 38 people have been matched, verification of one victim is underway.
On allegations of Harjit Masih, Swaraj asserted “It is baseless that the lone survivor was harassed, he was kept in protective custody.
Speaking at Rajya Sabha, the External Affairs Minister (EAM) confirmed the dreaded terror outfit Islamic State (IS) had killed all the Indian nationals.
The deceased persons, most of whom hailed from Punjab, were working on projects near Mosul, when they were abducted during their evacuation.