Sushma makes appeal to Iraqi captors

Sushma makes appeal to Iraqi captors

Sushma makes appeal to Iraqi captors

India on Thursday made an emotional appeal to the Iraqi captors of its 41 citizens to release them as a “Ramzan gift” as members expressed concern in Parliament over the safety and security of the victims.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sent out an emotional message to the Islamist captors and reminded them that India had refused to send troops to the Gulf nation when it was attacked by the Americans.

Replying to a calling attention motion in the Lok Sabha, Swaraj said of the 22,000 Indians in Iraq, more than 4,000 have been evacuated, while 15,000 citizens were safe in Kurdistan. Swaraj was responding to concerns expressed by members on the well being of 41 Indians held captive in Iraq for the past 45 days.

She said the Centre, in coordination with the Punjab government, was making all out efforts to ensure the release of the Indian citizens.

Of the 41 held captive, 31 hail from Punjab, four each from Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and two from West Bengal, Swaraj said.

“While we don't have any direct contact with them, but according to several sources, we have got to know they are safe and alive, they are being given food,” Swaraj said.

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