Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had phoned Sushma Swaraj to seek her intervention.
As Iraqi forces reclaimed the city of Mosul
from ISIS after eight months of combat, the families of 39 Indians who were kidnapped by the insurgent group in 2014 are hopeful, hopeful that their sons, husbands, brothers will be back home soon.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today assured Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that her ministry was doing everything to trace them.
The Chief Minister had called up Ms Swaraj and told her that the families of the hostages, mostly from Punjab, were awaiting the return of their kin.
It has been an endless wait for the family of Dharmendar, who was 25 when he was abducted by the ISIS. Kawaljeet Kaur, his mother, while speaking to NDTV said, "They keep telling us that our kids are safe but God alone knows what the truth is."
Last month, Ms Swaraj, during one of the dozen meetings she has had with the families since 2014, told them that a source in Iraq provided information about a group of Indian men holed up in a church in Mosul. They are "alive and everything possible was being done to ensure their safe return
", she reassured them.
"The information we have so far is that they are alive because we have no other information to prove that they are not alive," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay had said.
Gurpinder, whose brother Manjinder Singh was one of the 39 Indians abducted, said, "Sushma Swaraj has said that they are using GPS to locate them. Even Gen VK Singh is being sent. We hope to see our men back soon."
"We have been told our brother is being kept safe in a church," said Santosh Kumar.
A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said that as soon as the announcement of liberation of Mosul was made by the Prime Minister of Iraq, the government activated various channels to locate the kidnapped Indians. "Iraqi authorities have conveyed that all cooperation would be extended in this regard," it said.
Ms Swaraj said Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd) VK Singh will be in Iraq to facilitate the return of the Indians stuck there, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said.
The Union minister said the Indian embassy has been directed to extend all help to the stranded people from the country. Air India officials have also been instructed to facilitate their return, she said.
ISIS terrorists who aimed to establish a Muslim caliphate across the Iraqi-Syrian frontier launched their revolt by seizing Mosul, and swept through the Tigris valley towards Baghdad.
They threw themselves into Tigris
yesterday as they tried to flee the battlefield.