Naval warship INS Sumitra reached Aden in Yemen on Tuesday to help Indian nationals leave the war-struck country.
The ship, which left along with other vessels from Mumbai and Kochi, will ferry Indians stranded in Yemen to Djibouti, a country on the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. From there, the passengers will then be flown to Mumbai by the national carrier. The rescue operation has been named Op Raahat.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj briefed the Cabinet Tuesday on the evacuation efforts.
Navy officials in Delhi said that INS Mumbai — a destroyer — and INS Tarkash — a stealth frigate — departed from Mumbai on Monday evening. “INS Sumitra is off the coast of Aden awaiting clearance to enter the harbour,” a Navy official said at about 6.30 pm on Tuesday.
The ship was cleared to enter Aden port at about 8 pm Indian time. The ship will ply about 150-odd passengers at a time from Aden to Djibouti. “Two warships from Mumbai and two passenger liners — Kavaratti and Corals — from Kochi departed on the morning of March 30. They will rendezvous in Arabian sea and move as a composite group to Djibouti,” the official said.
There are close to 3,700 Indians in Yemen.