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67 more Indians return from Libya, thousands other stranded

February 28, 2011 12:14 IST
A third batch of 67 Indians arrived in Mumbai from Libya early on Monday morning. So far, over 550 Indians have returned from strife-torn Libya on special Air India flights, but thousands continue to remain stranded.

The first batch of 291 people from Tripoli landed in Delhi late on Saturday night at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The second flight with 237 Indians landed at the IGI airport early on Sunday.

Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahmed had earlier termed the evacuation of the Indian nationals as 'Operation Safe Home Coming' and also said that all arrangements had been made for the returning Indians to go back to their native places at government cost. Food as well as telephone facilities have been arranged for them so that they can contact their families.  Counters have also been set up to arrange rail and air tickets for them while officials from at least 12 states will be present for any further help they may need. 

The government has arranged for two flights to be dispatched daily till March 7 to bring back the stranded Indians from Libya where a revolt against the Muammar Gaddafi government has turned violent and claimed over 1,000 lives so far. In addition to this three specially equipped naval vessels are scheduled to reach there in ten days. 

Passenger ship M V Scotia Prince, which was on its way to Toothukudi from Greece had been diverted to Libya to rescue the 18,000 Indians. The returned passengers said that the situation in Libya is getting worse.

"Things were getting really bad for the last 10 days. People were killing each other, and there was self-imposed curfew. We couldn't go out to buy regular food. Our children stayed at home," said Narayan Parekh, one of the Indians who returned from Libya.  
Source: ANI