New Delhi, Feb.27 (ANI): Indians evacuated from trouble-ridden Libya have praised the Central Government and the Indian embassy in Tripoli for its assistance.
Speaking to the media, Surendra singh Chauhan, one of the evacuated Indians, said: "(Indian) Embassy (in Libya) helped us a lot. The media has also helped and it is because of them that we have been able to come back happily in the Air India flight."
"We were given grand welcome after coming here. The Home Minister came to receive us at the airport and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also spoke to us," he added.
Sriram Hooda, another evacuated person said: "We were not sure whether we would get back alive or not, but with the help of the Embassy staff in Libya, who assured us that they would evacuate us, despite not having a proper visa, we are here."
The Indians were evacuated on two special Air India flights, which arrived today carrying almost 550 of the 18000 Indians stranded in Libya.
Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao were present at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport to receive them.
Ahmed 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' resident commissioner's offices 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 18000 Indians. (ANI)