Ready to evacuate all Indians in Libya: Krishna

Last Updated: Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 00:53

New Delhi: Amid deteriorating situation in
Libya, Government on Wednesday said it was ready to evacuate all the
18,000 Indians there and the first naval ship has already
reached Egypt on way to Libya.



External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said the government
was closely monitoring the situation in Libya as also Bahrain
and Yemen and inter-ministerial meetings have been held to
take stock of the situation in the region.
Replying to clarifications by members in Rajya Sabha, he
said that the Government is "not charging anybody" for
evacuation.



Making suo motu statement in both Lok Sabha and Rajya
Sabha and replying to clarifications, Krishna said all Indians
in Libya are "safe as of now".



“We will do everything that is possible to evacuate all
Indians safely," Krishna said.



Listing the steps taken by the government to evacuate the
Indians, he said that one ship has already arrived at Egypt
and it would be reaching Libya to bring back Indians.



He also said as one ship could carry about 800-1,000
people, the Government would have to think of a large scale
operation than merely sending two ships. "Ships are being
lined up for evacuating them."



Krishna, however, did not given any time frame for
bringing back all Indians, saying, "It is an extremely
difficult proposition to spell out time frame."



But, he quickly added that the Government would take every
step to bring them back at the "earliest possible time".



Earlier, BJP member Tarun Vijay had raised this issue
saying Indians evacuated from Egypt were made to pay double
the normal air fare.



Responding to members` concerns about the security of 200
Indian nurses stranded there, Krishna said all of them are
safe and the Indian Ambassador has personally spoken to them.



"I have personally been in touch with our Ambassadors in
these countries and have conveyed that all measures should be
taken for the safety and welfare of our nationals there," he
said.



He informed the House that the External Affairs Ministry
and Indian embassies concerned have set up round-the-clock
helplines to help Indians.



Krishna earlier said, "We are putting in place plans for
possible evacuation by land, air and sea."



He noted that "violent political protests" are being
witnessed in Libya as also Yemen and Bahrain which have
significant Indian community, most of whom have gone there to
earn their livelihood and have been contributing to the growth
and development of the host country.



"Our embassies have been in close and regular contact with
the Indian community," the minister said.



There are about 3,50,000 Indians in Bahrain and 14,000 in
Yemen.
Referring to Egypt which also witnessed political upheaval
recently, Krishna said upon request from the Indian community,
three special flights were arranged by Air India, which
carried around 670 Indians from Cairo to Mumbai.



"This was not `evacuation` and government only facilitated
arrangement of the special flights of Air India to Cairo which
brought back Indians desirous of returning to India," he
underlined.



PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 00:53

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