Around 534 Indians have been evacuated from violence-hit Sudan in overnight operations, sources told CNBC-TV18. Two Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft and one navy ship are stationed in Port Sudan, they added.
"The focus of the Indian government and rescue teams is on getting people out of Khartoum and taking them to Port Sudan. Indian nationals are being moved in buses from Khartoum to Port Sudan. More people could be taken out of Port Sudan this afternoon," sources said.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government decided to bring repatriated Keralites from Sudan at the expense of the state from the various airports of the country, news agency ANI reported.
India, among several other countries, started rescuing its nationals as violence erupted in Sudan where the conflict between Sudan's army and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has triggered a rush to extract foreign diplomats and citizens.
The fighting in Sudan, that began on April 15, has claimed more than 420 lives, including at least 291 civilians, and wounded at least 3,700, the Associated Press (AP) reported. People there are struggling for food, hospitals have been shelled and are near collapse, water has been cut off in places, and power and internet outages have left people in the dark and unable to stay informed and in touch.
Amid the drastic situation, India launched "Operation Kaveri" to rescue Indians from the crisis-hit country. The first of the Indian national left Sudan on Tuesday. The Ministry of External Affairs has since been updating about the operation on its Twitter handle.
The first C-130 flight landed in Jeddah with 121 passengers in the wee hours of Wednesday, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said in a tweet. Soon, a second C-130 flight reached Jeddah, bringing the third batch of 135 passengers from Sudan.
Moreover, 278 Indians were evacuated from Sudan onboard INS Sumedha at Jeddah Port. Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan thanked "Saudi authorities for excellent support in Jeddah".
INS Sumedha (Credit: MEA)
INS Teg also joined the evacuation process. It arrived at Port Sudan with additional officials and essential relief supplies for stranded Indians on Tuesday.
INS Teg joins Operation Kaveri. (Credit: MEA)
Meanwhile, Muraleedharan also inspected the transit facility in Jeddah where Indians evacuated from Sudan were received and "put up briefly before traveling to India". He said, "It is fully equipped incl with mattresses, provisions, fresh meals, toilets, medical facilities, Wifi. Has 24*7 control room."
First Published: Apr 26, 2023 12:47 PM IST