Drama in the high seas for Indians in Libya?


New Delhi, Feb 24: After the death of an Indian national in Libya, the Government of India is seeing red and is geared up to evacuate Indians stranded in Libya. After an Egypt-like situation unfolding in Libya, a large number of protestors, those supporting and defending Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi took to the streets. There are an estimated 18,000 Indian nationals settled in Libya.

The challenges are aplenty for the Indian authorities as the Tripoli airspace is closed and permission to land there seems close to impossible to attain. The only way out seems to be an evacuation by sea. The Ministry of External Affairs have instructed the Defence Ministry to keep warships ready in order to evacuate the distressed Indians there. The government has also kept Air India flights on stand-by and use as and when the situation is conducive in flying them out.

External Affairs Minister, SM Krishna has been quoted as saying in the Rajya Sabha, "Its an extremely difficult proposition to spell out any time frame for the evacuation. I can say that the government is serious and is concentrating on evacuating Indians in earliest possible time."

While Indian authorities were driving down the point that Indians were safe in Libya, the death of the Tamil Nadu native yesterday has snapped the emotions of the kith and kin of the Indians nationals in Libya. The relatives had commented on public platforms that the government should be more active in evacuating the residents rather than wait for a mishap to occur.

Indians are largely settled in the Libyan capital of Tripoli and Benghazi. The foreign Minister had commented that a much-larger operation would be needed to ship out the victims by sea. He also added that an inter-ministerial committee headed by foreign secretary Nirupama Rao was formed to ensure the safety of Indians there.

OneIndia News

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