28 September, 2020

They’re Gone

Families of Indian ISIS hostages say MEA has shut them out

Sanjay Rawat
They’re Gone

“The ministry of external aff­airs no longer entertains our calls; they do not resp­ond to our text messages; nobody in New Delhi is ready to meet us either,”  complained several family members of the 38 Indians held hostage by the Islamic State. They had gone missing in June 2014 and the government had then claimed that efforts were on to secure their release. As recently as last October, the MEA had informed the families that President Pranab Mukherjee, on a state visit to Israel and Palestine, had been told by Palestinian officials that they had information that the Indian host­ages taken by ISIS were safe.

But since then, the trail has gone cold. And resentment has been brewing among the family members of the hostages, most of them poor workers from Punjab.  They are extremely clued in to the events happening in West Asia and quite a few of them ask why the Narendra Modi government had failed to secure the release of Indians when Turkish intelligence had negotiated the release of 49 Turks similarly held hostage by the Islamic...



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