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Updated: March 3, 2011 10:53 IST

“I am happy to be back home”

Shastry V. Mallady
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SAFE: R. Prabhu . Photo: S. James
SAFE: R. Prabhu . Photo: S. James

Madurai man Prabhu was lucky to be evacuated by his employer from trouble-torn Libya

It was a flight to safety for this man from Madurai who was a witness to a turbulent Tripoli.

Working in Libya since 2007, R. Prabhu returned home on Wednesday afternoon after witnessing the chaos, protests and the thick of military action across Col. Moammar Qadhafi's country.

“It was a harrowing experience for me and many others who were looking for a safe route to come back to India. Only after landing in Chennai airport by an Emirates flight on Wednesday morning did I feel normal,” he says.

Within hours after he reached home in the afternoon, Mr. Prabhu recalled his journey from Libya to Madurai in a brief chat with The Hindu when he shared his encounter at Tripoli airport where for nearly 24 hours he was witness to horrendous scenes.

Working in a desert field at a place called Sabha, which is 1,000-kms south east of Tripoli, this consultant was among the four persons who could return to Madurai safely despite the unsafe situation in Libya.

“I am working for an engineering consultancy company called Craddock which is carrying out projects for Petro-Canada. Initially, the protests were vigorous around Tripoli which is on the western side of Libya. As the protests gradually spread, we requested our company to make arrangements for our return to India,” Mr. Prabhu said.

Immediate arrangements were made for their evacuation and the journey from the West European country of Malta to home began on Saturday.

“This is the first time I am seeing something like this in Libya. The Tripoli airport was flooded with thousands of people and the police could not control the protestors. We had only water; one bottle of water cost Rs.150,” says Mr. Prabhu.

He witnessed terrifying action scenes in the airport with groups carrying machine guns moving around and horrifying sounds heard from all sides.

Asked about his next plans, Mr. Prabhu says “Nothing is sure for now. The company may or may not call us again due to the prevailing situation.”

But, certainly his wife Vijaya Rani looked relieved as her husband was back at the D. R. O. Colony house after days of anxiety and tension.

“My wife was crying on the phone. I was telling her about my safety daily and today I am out of that chaos,” Mr.Prabhu, a father of two school-going children, added.

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