Indians in Non-conflict Zones to Return Soon
NEW DELHI: India is expecting to bring back all its nationals in non-conflict zones who are interested in returning in the next 48 hours, following which resources would be diverted towards efforts to rescue and evacuate Indians stuck in the conflict zone.
MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said on Sunday that the government had “calibrated” its approach, leading to increased pace in bringing back people from the non-conflict zone in Southern part of Iraq.
“Our advice to them is to leave. If they are facing problems or are staying back because of tickets, Government of India is ready to provide them. We are also ready to provide assistance in terms of contractual problems. Based on that, our assessment is, 2,200 Indian nationals have in some form or other expressed their desire to leave Iraq,” he said.
Once all the Indians interested in returning from the non-conflict zone are brought back in the next 2-3 days, the government would divert and focus on Indians in the conflict zone, where nearly two score construction workers remain in captivity of the insurgents.
“We are working through the front door, back door and trapdoor,” reiterated Akbaruddin on efforts to rescue them.
There are currently four mobile teams with six persons each based in Najaf, Karbala, Basra and Baghdad, who have been going to the residences and places of work of the 10,000 Indians who were living outside the conflict zone.
On Saturday, a special Air India flight ferried 170 Indians from Erbil, which included 46 nurses who were in Tikrit hospital.
Early on Sunday, 200 people arrived in an Iraqi Airways special flight from Najaf. On Monday, another plane with 117 passengers will reach here, as the regular Bagdhad-Delhi Iraqi Airways Flight will be diverted to Najaf to pick them up.
Further, over the next two days, two special flights from Najaf and Basra will bring 480 people here.
The Indian government has provided tickets to 600, through the facilitation process of the Baghdad mission. Most of these people were from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai.The transportation cost for another 600 was paid by their companies while another 1,600 were also being provided tickets by the government.
The government was utilising 10 commercial flights available from Baghdad to various points in Gulf if seats were available. Special flights were also commissioned from other areas.