A body representing Muslim social and religious organisations has called upon rebel forces in Iraq to release on humanitarian grounds all the Indian nationals whom they are holding captive.
The All-India Majlis-e-Mushawarat on Thursday evening issued the appeal even as it sought to remind the rebel leaders that India and Iraq have traditionally enjoyed strong ties and India has never taken sides in rivalries between warring groups involved in the internal strife in Iraq.
"These Indians are all innocent people serving in a foreign land. Why should they pay the price for the folly of others," said the president of the Majlis, Zafarul Islam Khan.
All Indians are deeply concerned about the recent internal strife in Iraq and are hopeful of a peaceful resolution to the internal conflict, Khan said.
Forty Indian workers have been kidnapped in Mosul in northern Iraq by Islamist rebels. The workers, hailing mostly from Punjab and other parts of northern India, were attached to a construction project in Mosul which was captured by Sunni militant group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.