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Updated: March 5, 2011 01:27 IST

All Indians will be brought back from Libya: Centre

K. Balchand
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Indians, who were brought back from Libya, travel in a bus in Mumbai on Friday.
Indians, who were brought back from Libya, travel in a bus in Mumbai on Friday.

Free journey for them to hometowns from airports

The Union government assured Parliament on Friday that it would make all efforts to bring home all Indians from strife-torn Libya.

Sharing the concerns of members, including those of the Congress, over the condition of Indians stranded, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs and Civil Aviation Vayalar Ravi said the government would also arrange free air journey for them to their hometowns from airports. If the distance was less than 500 km, they would be sent by rail or road.

Intervening, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee announced free rail tickets for the repatriates to return to their hometowns.

Mr. Ravi said all arrangements were made last week for evacuating, by ship or flight, Indians desirous of returning home.

In the absence of a bilateral treaty with Libya, only Air India had the right to operate flights from Tripoli, where 10,000 Indians were stranded. Three aircraft of Air India and three more of private carriers were pressed into service to fly Indians to Alexandria. There were an estimated 18,000 Indians in Libya.

As for the problems being faced by the repatriates on landing at the airports without any money, Mr. Ravi said he himself had received them. Everyone was being given food packets, water and soft drinks.

After Congress member Sis Ram Ola raised the issue, other members highlighted the threats Indians received and the problems they faced on landing at the airports in India. Mr. Ola also urged the government to bring back the bodies of those who died in Libya.

In the Rajya Sabha, P. Rajeev of the CPI(M) raised the issue. Members of the Left parties, the BJP, the Samajwadi Party, the AIADMK, the DMK, the Nationalist Congress Party and the BJD joined hands and successfully prevailed upon Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan to direct the government to make a statement.

The members accused the government of being slow in its reaction, highlighting that China and the Philippines had already evacuated their citizens.

I am surprised that M/S. M N Dastur & Co has spent 3.5 crore for the evacuation of its employees from Libya. Anybody who needs assistance for evacuation process from Libya or other troubled hit countries may contact me direct for consultation. Yes, I can assure safe evacuation process with my effective contacts worldwide.

from:  Dinonath Malick
Posted on: Mar 5, 2011 at 12:36 IST

TIMELY EMBASSY HELP:: I came from Libya two days ago, thanks to the excellent arrangements made by our govt.I've read of allegations of being slow,leveled against our govt.compared to China and Philippines; they are unfounded. I know many university teachers from Philippines being told by their govt. to stay wherever they are;they are not offered any free evacuation quickly.Chinese people work in Chinese companies: hundreds and thousands in their company sites, so it's easy to evacuate them. We could understand the logistical difficulties involved in evacuating 18000 Indians scattered over Libya.All our colleagues- lecturers, professors- did volunteer work in the Embassy when we went there to be evacuated;So please do not accuse our govt. or emabassy.

from:  Dr.Swami D.Francis
Posted on: Mar 5, 2011 at 12:00 IST

In addition to bringing our people safely back, India must seek reparations from Libya. There was a reasonable expectation of safety and security when Libya offered jobs to Indians. As the Libyan government is no longer able to guarantee their safety, the Indian government has been left with no other option but to act in the interest of its citizens, and believes reparations by Libya are in order. India must hold Libya accountable for these precipitous events.

from:  Gautham
Posted on: Mar 5, 2011 at 00:16 IST
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