As many as 56 Gujarat residents, evacuated from Sudan under the Centre’s ‘Operation Kaveri’, reached Ahmedabad in the early hours of Friday after landing in Mumbai and expressed gratitude to government authorities for bringing them back safely from the strife-battered African nation.
Of these 56 Gujarat residents who landed at the Mumbai airport, 12 reached Ahmedabad on their own, while 44 were brought to Ahmedabad in two buses deployed by the Gujarat government, said an official release.
They were among 246 Indians evacuated from Sudan and brought to Mumbai by an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on Thursday afternoon. These evacuees were from as many as 18 states, including Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, Mumbai airport authorities said.
The Gujarat returnees, including several elderly persons, were welcomed by Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi upon their arrival at the Ahmedabad Circuit House on Friday morning.
From Ahmedabad, they will be sent to their respective destinations across Gujarat in state transport buses arranged by the government, said the release.
A majority of these evacuees hail from Rajkot district, while others belong to Gandhinagar, Anand, and Vadodara, it added.
On the occasion, Mr Sanghavi, who also handles the Non-Resident Gujaratis (NRG) division of the government, said the state was constantly in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs to identify and evacuate Gujarat natives stranded in Sudan.
After reaching Ahmedabad, these evacuees thanked the Centre as well as the Gujarat government for rescuing them from the violence-hit country.
“Life became very difficult in Sudan due to the fighting between their rival forces, which led to a shortage of food and water. Incidents of theft, murder and loot were also taking place. We thank the Centre as well as the state government for evacuating us safely,” said one of the returnees.
Under ‘Operation Kaveri’, India has been taking its citizens in buses from conflict zones of Khartoum and other troubled areas to Port Sudan from where they are being taken to the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah in IAF’s heavy-lift transport aircraft and Indian Navy’s ships.
Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the country’s army and a paramilitary group that has reportedly left around 400 people dead.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)