The nurses have been put up in a building and have been given food, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy says.
The 46 Indian nurses who were forcibly moved by ISIS militants from Tikrit have reached the Iraqi city of Mosul and are unharmed, said a source on Friday. They are lodged in an old building near a hospital in Mosul and are safe, PTI quoted familiy members of a nurse in Kottayam.
The nurses were taken in buses from Tikrit to Mosul by a team of the Sunni insurgents on Thursday.
The nurses reached Mosul at around midnight India time. “They are safe and have been kept in two rooms which has only one door,” a source close to the nurses told IANS.
The nurses were provided food and water by their escorts.
The militants have now adopted a “tough” attitude towards the nurses, the source added.
The Sunni militants were pleasant tempered towards the nurses on Thursday but “are now displaying a tough attitude”, the source added.
Though they are lodged in a godown-like hall without power, their takers have treated them well, mother of one of the nurses said in Kottayam.
“My daughter called me around 10.45 last night and said the group had been accommodated in a hall in Mosul. It appears to be part of a hospital. She could not speak more since the charge of her mobile phone was low. She told me not to get panicky if she did not call home frequently as she was not sure if there would be a facility to get the phone charged,” said Sobha, whose daughter is one of the nurses of the group.
Ms. Sobha and her husband Sasikumar, like parents of other nurses from different parts of the State, said they are praying for the safe return of their children and pinned hope on the efforts being made by the Centre and the State for their evacuation without delay.
But some of them complained that there was delay on the part of the Centre to intervene effectively in the matter.
They claimed that as soon as Tikrit came under the control of rebels a few days back, the nurses had informed the Indian Embassy in Baghdad about their willingness to give up the job and return home.
Concern over the safe evacuation of the nurses had soared in the last couple days.
According to non-resident Keralites agency NORKA Roots, there are 46 nurses working in a hospital in Tikrit and taking them safely to the nearest airport is a big task.
KERALA NURSES GIVEN FOOD: CHANDY
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his senior colleagues are in Delhi to monitor the situation. Mr. Chandy will be meeting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take stock of the situation.
Earlier, Mr. Chandy said the nurses have been put up in a building and have been given food.
The nurses reached Mosul close to midnight, said Mr. Chandy who is in Delhi and closely monitoring the situation alongwith the External Affairs Ministry.
Mr. Chandy told IANS over phone that the nurses have been given food and they have been put up in a building.
“When they reached the building there was no power supply. But very soon it was restored and they are taking rest,” said Mr. Chandy.
“The prime responsibility is to see that they make a safe return...,” he added.
He assured that “We are making every effort and for that all diplomatic channels are being used.”
“Like yesterday (Thursday), am leaving shortly to meet Ministers and officials and our only aim and objective is their safe return,” said Mr. Chandy.
A person in the know of things told IANS that one of the nurses had sent an SMS to her husband that they were given beds.