Dec 31 2014
The fate of the missing Indian workers in Mosul, many of them from Punjab, is a cause for concern. In a two-part series, a former Indian Ambassador to Iraq looks at the complex situation and how their release can be sought. The first part focuses on Iraq’s political scenario.
Families of the abducted youth in Iraq after a prayer meeting at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Mission in Jalandhar. India is in the third rung of nations in the jihadist campaign.
Case of missing Indians in Iraq
The cloud of suspense continues to hover over the fate of 39 Indians kidnapped by ISIL militants in Iraq over six months ago.
The government said it didn't have direct evidence of either their death or survival but would continue to search for the missing youth.
Harjit Masih, now in the protective custody of the Government of India, has said that ISIL militants kidnapped some Indians and Bangladeshis whom they later separated into two groups. The Indian group was taken to a forest and shot dead while he escaped. There are discrepancies in the account and six other sources have confirmed they are alive.
India and Indians have a fund of goodwill in the region. The release of the nurses from Tikrit is a pointer. Case for the workers' release may be inherent in the workers’ humble socio-economic background.
THE blanket silence from the abductors and absence of verifiable inputs on their location and safety has led to an existentialist debate on the fate of the Indian workers detained from a labour camp in Mosul in mid-June by the terrorist group Islamic State in Levant (ISIL).The current information available with the Government of India and shared with the Parliament appears to be based on secondary or tertiary sources. All the leads from the sources in the region, relied on so far by the Government to assure the workers’ families of their safety, seem to taper off in dead-ends, with no further onward trail to the workers or the captors. This is perhaps understandable with ISIL being a phantom monstrosity that never ceases to spring surprises with an invisible leadership and a structural and functional framework that is highly compartmentalised — making contact or communication with its core power centres nearly impossible. The conclusion by the government that the workers are safe, therefore, seems to be in the nature of an optimistic surmise from an uncertain situation. One only hopes earnestly that this is indeed the reality.