External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday slammed Congress for doing politics over the death of 39 Indians, who were killed by Islamic State terrorists in Iraq. “Can we do politics over death,” Swaraj told a press conference. “Today Congress indulged in very low level of politics, probably Congress president thought how did no uproar happened in Rajya Sabha and decided to ask Scindia ji to lead protests in Lok Sabha,” Swaraj said.
Swaraj said that Congress gave responsibility of creating a ruckus in Lok Sabha to Jyotiraditya Scindia. “In Rajya Sabha, everyone listened to me speaking very patiently and in peace. Everyone paid tributes, I thought same would happen in Lok Sabha. But unlike the past few days of ruckus, today Congress led the protests under Jyotiraditya Scindia ji. Very unfortunate,” Swaraj said.
Swaraj also explained as to why the government didn’t inform family members about deaths. “Some kin of the victims have questioned 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,” Swaraj said.
Highlighting the efforts made by the government to rescue the people, Swaraj said that she personally talked to the foreign ministers of the respective countries and asked them if they had any evidence about the missing Indians. “Khoye huye ho to maare huye samjhe jaaoge’ ye sarkar aisi nahi hai,” Swaraj said.
On allegations of keeping people in dark, Swaraj said that government never claimed of having the evidence of missing people’s death. “We maintained this in 2014 and 2017. We did not keep anyone in dark. We gave no false hopes to anyone,” Swaraj said.
She further informed media that out of the deceased, 27 people belonged to Punjab, six belonged to Bihar, four were from Himachal Pradesh while two belonged to West Bengal. “While the identity of one of them is yet to be verified,” Swaraj said.
The external affairs minister further said she kept her word of declaring people dead only after receiving concrete evidence. “I will get my closure when I would hand over the mortal remains to their families and they receive proper last rites,” she said.