India receives remains of workers killed by ISIL

The other workers' bodies were finally identified in March after they were discovered in a mass grave following the recapture of Mosul by Iraqi forces past year. "We will handover the mortal remains to their families".

Manjeet Kaur, wife of Davinder Singh, one of the 39 killed, said she hoped the state government would keep its promise.

In November 2014, two Bangladeshi men, who reportedly were among the 53 other workers abducted with the Indians, told the TV channel APB Live that the militants armed with guns had first sought to know what faith they followed.

The women told the court they had entered Iraq to join their husbands, who were fighting within the ranks of the terror outfit.

Iraq's Department of Forensic Medicine under its Ministry of Health conducted the tests (and the DNA tests) on the bodies that had been exhumed by Martyrs Foundation from a mound in Badush, near Mosul.

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In the wake of the nationwide protests against the dilution of the SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act on Monday, the Punjab government had appealed to the demonstrators to allow the mortal remains to pass without hindrance. External Affairs Minister for the state also addressed a presser and announced government will ask the families for the details of members who can be given jobs.

In the same month, 46 Indian nurses, too, were taken hostage by ISIL from the Iraqi city of Tikrit.

A total of 40 Indians were kidnapped by ISIS in June 2015.

Singh had claimed that the victims had arrived in Iraq illegally as they were not found to have been registered with any Indian embassy in the region. "Unless we are assured of the compensation that Bihar Government will give us, we will not take his body home". We got a kara (iron bracelet worn by Sikhs) and long hair and then we thought they may belong to be our people. Authorities are awaiting DNA samples from a first-degree relative.

The remains of the 38 men reached the country on Monday almost four years after they went missing and were identified through DNA and forensic tests.

  • Sonia Alvarado