The Centre is “working day and night” to ensure the release of the 39 Sikhs who are being held hostage in Iraq, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
“There are 39 Sikhs (still) under captivity in Iraq. They are all from Punjab. We are working day and night to rescue them,” Sushma informed the Upper House during a short-duration debate on the Gaza situation.
India has so far rescued 46 nurses from the war-ravaged Gulf country, while 40 other nationals have returned from Saudi Arabia, where they were languishing in jail, despite having served their full jail term, for protesting against their employer.
Family members of the Sikhs believed to be held hostage by Islamist militants had earlier met Sushma, who assured them that the government was taking all steps to evacuate Indian nationals.