Iraq is experiencing the worst of sectarian war in which Sunni militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) has taken over the large regions and are trying to collapse Shia government of Baghdad. ISIS’s main aim is to set up a Muslim succession across the Iraqi-Syrian border. After crossing the Tigris valley, militants have headed towards Baghdad. The Islamist group has taken over the second largest city Mosul in northern Iraq and kidnapped 40 Indian construction workers.
India’s foreign ministry has no clue as who is behind the kidnapping and where the kidnapped Indians have been kept as hostages. Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin clarified that they have not received phone call from anyone asking for ransom or any other information. Top officials believe that workers were caught in a serious conflict zone.
Most of the kidnapped construction workers hailed from Punjab and were working in a Baghdad-based company called Tariq Noor Al Huda.
Presently there are close to 10,000 Indian nationals working in Iraq but living in unaffected areas of the nation. Near about 100 Indian workers including 46 nurses are in militant affected areas. The nurses are locked up in Tikrit and most of them are trapped in the hospitals in which they were working. Nurses have been contacted by Humanitarian group The Red Crescent and verified that they cannot travel by road either to another hospital or the nearest airport as it is not safe for them.
Most of the kidnapped men have called their families back in India and told about the scary situation in Iraq.
But this kidnapping is the biggest challenge to new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India. Foreign ministry stated that it is working with the construction company and also with international humanitarian agencies to get more information.
The Indian government has sent its former ambassador to Iraq, Suresh Reddy to Baghdad to assist repatriation tasks. As per analysts sending Reddy is a right move as he is familiar and can use his experience and contact within the Iraqi government. It might help Indian government to get more information to resolve the problem. To monitor the situation government has also set up a control room in Delhi.