Clarifying her stand, Swaraj said, "We had been saying that we neither have the evidence of them being alive nor the evidence of them being dead". While mentioning that 24 of the 39 dead were from Punjab, the CM said Swaraj's statement had come as a shock to the families.
"We had send the DNA samples of either the mother or father of the missing Indians to the Martin's Foundation".
"The first match was of Sandeep, yesterday 38 matches were confirmed and 39th person had been 70 per cent matched because DNA of his relatives was used in absence of his parents", she said adding, "It has been the most hard and complex task to get the proof".
She explained that once the procedure and formalities are completed, minister of state general V K Singh will go to Iraq and bring back the bodies. "But today Sushma Swaraj ji said that they'd all been killed, we are completely shattered now", Dimplejeet Kaur, sister of Dharminder from Gurdaspur, one of the victims, told Sputnik.
Sushma Swaraj also dismissed claims of Harjeet Massi, one of them who escaped from Mosul. It is parliamentary procedure to first inform the House, so it was my duty to inform the House first, Swaraj said. Meanwhile, the families of the deceased accused the government of fooling them for nearly five years.
The abducted workers, mostly from northern India, had been employed by a construction company near Mosul when militants overran the Iraqi city and seized wide swathes of territory. The minister confirmed that DNA tests conducted on the exhumed bodies confirmed the identity of the dead. "For verification of bodies DNA samples of relatives were sent there, 4 state govts, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal & Bihar were involved", Sushma added.