We will keep track of major news events across the world through this live blog.
The big news at the moment: Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Atul Johri, who has been booked in eight cases of alleged sexual misconduct, was arrested on Tuesday and produced before a district court in New Delhi.
Mar 20, 2018 6:12 pm (IST)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tweeted about the death of 39 Indian hostages in Iraq, saying that every Indian grieves with those who lost their loved ones in Mosul. “We stand in solidarity with the bereaved families and pay our respects to the Indians killed in Mosul,” he wrote. He added that the ministry of external affairs, and particularly Sushma Swaraj and General VK Singh, had left no stone unturned in trying to trace and safely bring back those we lost in Mosul. “Our Government remains fully committed towards ensuring the safety of our sisters and brothers overseas.
The MEA and particularly my colleagues @SushmaSwaraj Ji and @Gen_VKSingh Ji left no stone unturned in trying to trace and safely bring back those we lost in Mosul.
Our Government remains fully committed towards ensuring the safety of our sisters and brothers overseas.
JNU Professor Arrested: Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Atul Johri was today arrested for allegedly sexually harassing several women students, police said. Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi Range) Ajay Chaudhary confirmed his arrest. He was later produced in a court. Students, professors and women rights organisations have been protesting demanding his arrest, after some students accused him of sexual harassment. An FIR was filed against the Life Science professor based on one of eight complaints from women students. After JNU students held a mass protest outside Vasant Kunj Police Station yesterday, women rights organisations including All India Democratic Women's Association and All India Mahila Sanskritik Sanghatan today held protest outside the police station demanding arrest of the professor.
Mar 20, 2018 5:11 pm (IST)
In the aftermath of the Mosul tragedy, here’s a look at where the ISIS gets its weapons from. (Network18 Creative)
Mar 20, 2018 4:19 pm (IST)
It is premature to answer these questions. We have to talk to the state governments also. Let us hand over the bodies first, says Sushma Swaraj on a query on compensating the families of the victims of the 39 Indians killed in Mosul.
Mar 20, 2018 4:17 pm (IST)
Harjit Masih is just an individual, he could claim 39 others are dead, but we are the government, we can't say this so easily. We have to be responsible... It is baseless that Harjit Masih was harassed, he was kept in protective custody. I had said this in the Parliament earlier: Sushma Swaraj
Mar 20, 2018 4:10 pm (IST)
Sushma Swaraj: India might be the first country to get all the bodies back from Iraq after being killed.
Mar 20, 2018 4:08 pm (IST)
It cannot be determined when were these 39 people killed. We will have to wait for the martyrs' foundation's report to know how were they killed, says Sushma Swaraj while answering a question at the media address on the Mosul tragedy.
Mar 20, 2018 4:03 pm (IST)
Out of the deceased, 27 people were from Punjab, 6 from Bihar, 4 from Himachal Pradesh and 2 from West Bengal. The identity of one of them is yet to be verified: Sushma Swaraj.
Mar 20, 2018 4:00 pm (IST)
Sushma Swaraj: Thirty eight bodies have been identified and one is in the process of identification. We never kept anyone in dark. These have not been found from mass graves. They have been found from a mound near Badush.
Mar 20, 2018 3:57 pm (IST)
We had been saying that we neither have the evidence of them being alive nor the evidence of them being dead. We maintained this in 2014 and 2017. We did not keep anyone in dark. We gave no false hopes to anyone, says Sushma Swaraj.
Mar 20, 2018 3:56 pm (IST)
Sushma Swaraj: It would have been a sin had we handed over anybody's body claiming it to be those of our people, just for the sake of closing the files.
Mar 20, 2018 3:54 pm (IST)
Sushma Swaraj: Sushma Swaraj: Some kin of the victims have questioned as to why they were not told about the deaths before the parliament. It is parliamentary procedure to first inform the house, so it was my duty.
Mar 20, 2018 3:48 pm (IST)
Sushma on how bodies were found | A group of 40 Indian workers, mostly from Punjab, and some Bangladeshi were taken hostage by ISIS when it overran Iraq's second largest city Mosul in 2014. The relentless search for them led to a mass grave in Badosh, where deep penetration radar was used to establish the presence of bodies below a mound. The bodies, which were exhumed with help from Iraqi authorities, had distinctive features like long hair, 'kada', non-Iraqi shoes and IDs. The bodies were sent to Baghdad for DNA testing. Local inquiries led to the mass grave, from where bodies were exhumed and taken to Baghdad for DNA testing. Baghdad- based Martyrs Foundation was requested to help establish the identity of Indians on priority. "The first match was of Sandeep... yesterday 38 matches were confirmed and the 39th person had been 70 percent matched because DNA of his relatives was used in absence of his parents," she said. "It has been the most difficult and complex task to get the proof," she said. "Such a barbaric terror organization. There were mass graves. It was a pile of bodies. To track down the bodies of our people and take them to Baghdad to test was a huge task."
Mar 20, 2018 3:45 pm (IST)
Swaraj said she has previously maintained that the abducted Indians would not be declared dead without substantive proof. "I had said that I will not declare anyone dead without substantive proof... Today, I have come to fulfil that commitment. I had said that closure will be done with full proof. And when we will, with a heavy heart, give the mortal remains to their kin, it will be a kind of closure."
Mar 20, 2018 3:44 pm (IST)
Sushma attacks Congress | Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj criticises the Congress for disrupting the House while she wanted to address the issue. She said the Speaker urged the members to maintain order as I wanted to inform the house about a "serious" issue. At that moment, Congress and Left members started raising slogans such as "no no", drowning my voice. Swaraj noted that she cannot make a statement in the din as it was a serious issue. She recalled that the Lok Sabha had on several occasions discussed the fate of the 39 Indians on which the government had maintained that they could not be declared dead without "concrete evidence". "I want to present the evidence today. Please listen to me...please maintain silence," the minister said, amid slogan shouting by Congress, AAP and Left members. When she was speaking, AIADMK members maintained silence and did not raise slogans.
Mar 20, 2018 3:39 pm (IST)
The manner in which Parliament was functioning, I was not sure if I would be allowed to speak so I had called for a briefing at 12.30. Then we had to change the time to 3:30 pm: Sushma Swaraj addressing the media on Mosul tragedy
Mar 20, 2018 3:36 pm (IST)
Sushma briefs media | Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj briefs the media. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today in Rajya Sabha that all the 39 Indians, who were abducted by ISIS in Iraq nearly three years back, were killed and their bodies have been recovered. As many as 40 Indians were originally abducted by terrorist organisation ISIS in June 2015 from Mosul in Iraq but one of them escaped by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh, Swaraj said in a suo motu statement in Rajya Sabha. The remaining 39 Indians were taken to Badoosh and killed. Search operations led to a mound in Badoosh where locals said some bodies were buried by the ISIS.
Mar 20, 2018 3:33 pm (IST)
Sushma to brief media shortly | Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to brief the media shortly. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today in Rajya Sabha that all the 39 Indians, who were abducted by ISIS in Iraq nearly three years back, were killed and their bodies have been recovered. As many as 40 Indians were originally abducted by terrorist organisation ISIS in June 2015 from Mosul in Iraq but one of them escaped by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh, Swaraj said in a suo motu statement in Rajya Sabha. The remaining 39 Indians were taken to Badoosh and killed. Search operations led to a mound in Badoosh where locals said some bodies were buried by the ISIS.
Mar 20, 2018 3:05 pm (IST)
FLASH | Finance Minister Arun Jaitley not ready for any apology from Arvind Kejriwal. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has sent his emissary to Finance Minister Arin Jaitley. Yesterday, Delhi CM and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal has apologised to Congress’ Kapil Sibal and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to put an end to the defamation cases filed against him by the two leaders.
Mar 20, 2018 2:40 pm (IST)
Rahul expresses shock over death of Indians in Iraq | Congress President Rahul Gandhi expressed shock over the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq. "I’m shocked to hear that 39 Indians who were in captivity since 2014, in Iraq, are now confirmed dead. My deepest condolences to the families of those who have lived in hope, that their loved ones will return unharmed. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you today," he said in a tweet.
I’m shocked to hear that 39 Indians who were in captivity since 2014, in Iraq, are now confirmed dead.
My deepest condolences to the families of those who have lived in hope, that their loved ones will return unharmed. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you today.
Ananth Kumar reacts to Lok Sabha Ruckus over Sushma speech | Ananth Kumar to speak in Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ananth Kumar said "Congress MPs & Opposition created a ruckus that prevented Sushma Swaraj from making a statement in Lok Sabha about the death of 39 Indian in Iraq's Mosul. The opposition did not listen to her continuous requests of making a statement. We condemn this"
Mar 20, 2018 1:57 pm (IST)
Sasikala Granted 15-day parole to attend husband's funeral | VK Sasikala leaves from Bengaluru's Parappana Agrahara Central Jail. She has been granted 15-day parole following the demise of her husband Natarajan Maruthappa. The 74-year old Natarajan died at a hospital in Chennai early this morning. "Sasikala has applied for parole for 15 days and it is under consideration," the sources told PTI. Natarajan was admitted to the hospital on Saturday with severe chest infection and was put on a ventilator. He had undergone a kidney transplant last year. Te body was kept at his Besant Nagar residence in Chennai for people to pay homage. Sasikala is serving a four-year prison term in the Rs 66.6-crore disproportionate assets case at the Parappana Agrahara jail here.
Mar 20, 2018 1:54 pm (IST)
FLASH | Goa Congress President Shantaram Naik submits his resignation to party President Rahul Gandhi. Stating the reason behind his resignation, Shantaram Naik said, "Inspired by Congress president Rahul Gandhi's speech at the plenary session where he said that the younger generation should come forward to take leadership, I have resigned from the post of Goa Congress president."
Mar 20, 2018 1:53 pm (IST)
We were not informed: Kin's family | Manjeet Kaur wife of Davinder Singh, who was among 39 Indians killed in Iraq's Mosul said " The government just killed all our hopes...The govenment didn't inform us anything, we recieved the news from television when Sushma Swaraj was making statemet in the Rajya Sabha. My husband went to Iraq in 2011 & I spoke to him last on June 15, 2014. We were always told that they were alive. We don't demand anything from the government. "
Mar 20, 2018 1:27 pm (IST)
Harjit Masih, lone survivor in Mosul reacts to Sushma's statement | For months, the government has maintained that the 39 Indian hostages abducted by the ISIS in Iraq in June 2015 are “alive and well”. But the 40th hostage, Harjit Masih, who managed to escape, has now claimed that they were all shot a few days after they were abducted, and chances of their survival were “bleak”. Today, after Sushma Swaraj's statement, Harjit Masih spoke to News18 Network and said "It's been three years that I have been repeating that those people are dead. I was afraid at that time... The government kept me in their custody for a year, they sent me to jail and I was not even offered the job they promised." He further said, "My condition is miserable now...Fake cases were registered against me by all 39 families... Right now, I am out on bail."
Mar 20, 2018 1:16 pm (IST)
Deceased family speaks | Pappu Kumar, brother of Santosh Kumar, who one of the 39 Indians killed by ISIS in Iraq, said "We have not been informed anything about this new development." External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today told the Rajya Sabha that 39 Indians, who were abducted by the terror outfit ISIS in Iraq nearly three years back, were killed and their bodies have been recovered.
Mar 20, 2018 1:11 pm (IST)
AIADMK reacts to Lok Sabha Ruckus over Sushma Speech | Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai on the allegations that AIADMK were among the other parties who disrupted the House when Sushma Swaraj made the statement. He said "AIADMK can't be blamed for stopping Sushma Swaraj's to make a statement on the death of 39 Indians, who were abducted by the terror outfit ISIS in Iraq nearly three years back, were killed and their bodies have been recovered". Thambidurai said "we kept quiet when she began. Yes we were in the Well of the House but for some other issue."
Mar 20, 2018 1:01 pm (IST)
Opposition's job is to take things wrong way: VK Singh | VK Singh on remarks by the Opposition ove the death of 39 Indians kidnapped in Iraq's Mosul said, "It is the job of the opposition to take things the wrong way. I do not want to say anything about it." He further added that "there was hope, but then seeing the situation there chances of them being alive seemed slim. Legal procedures are underway there & might take 8-10 days, we are waiting for them to complete."
Mar 20, 2018 12:55 pm (IST)
YSRCP's YV Subba Reddy writes to Lok Sabha Secretary General, gives the notice to include no-confidence motion in the list of business for tomorrow. Since March 5, when Parliament had reassembled for the budget session after recess, the Lok Sabha has seen disruptions on a daily basis.
YSRCP's YV Subba Reddy writes to Lok Sabha Secretary General, gives notice to include no-confidence motion in the list of business for tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/ucxSyaE7Lq
Mosul Tragedy: Harsimrat Kaur Attacks Tharoor | Akali Dal's Harsimrat Kaur Badal hits back at Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, says "I am sad that someone from Opposition is still trying to play politics on the death of these people instead of giving credit to Sushma Ji." As many as 40 Indians were originally abducted by terrorist organisation ISIS in June 2015 from Mosul in Iraq but one of them escaped by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh, Swaraj said in a suo motu statement in Rajya Sabha. The remaining 39 Indians were taken to Badoosh and killed. Search operations led to a mound in Badoosh where locals said some bodies were buried by the ISIS.
JNU students protest against police inaction over sexual harassment complaints against a professor. (PTI Photo)
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that all the 39 taken taken hostage by ISIS in 2014 are dead. The minister confirmed that DNA tests conducted on the exhumed bodies confirmed the identity of the dead. Seventy percent match was established for the 39th body. Under attack from the opposition for not informing the families, Swaraj said that she wanted to inform the Parliament first as it was in session. On the delay in confirmation of the deaths, Swaraj said that the government waited for concrete proofs about the deaths and listed the steps it had taken to identify the bodies. The government had earlier maintained that the kidnapped Indians were alive. Sushma had personally met the familes of the kidnapped persons several times assured them that the government was "fully and continuously engaged" and "every possible effort" was being made to ensure their release. The opposition Congress targeted the government for giving “false hope” to the families. “Sad news of the confirmation of the deaths of 39 Indians in Iraq. Thoughts & prayers are w/their families. But why did the Govt give false hope to the nation for three and a half years that the people were still alive? That was disappointing behaviour (sic),” Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted.
Stay tuned as Sanchari Chatterjee brings you the latest updates.