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All Indians to be evacuated from Libya by March 10: Govt

There are about 18,000 Indians in Libya.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 5, 2011 2:48:50 am

Barring about 1,800 Indians who want to stay put in Libya,all Indian nationals would be evacuated by March 10,the government informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday. There are about 18,000 Indians in Libya.

Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur told the Rajya Sabha over 9,200 Indians would be evacuated by Friday night.

On the issue of protecting properties of Indians in Libya,she said it was the duty of the host country and India would take up the matter with the government.

In response to members’ concerns,the minister said there was “no cut-off date” for completion of evacuation.

To a member’s remark that China and Phillippines had completed their evacuation exercise much before India could do so,she said China had not issued any official figures and Philippines was yet to complete its evacuation process. To a query,Kaur said the government was not charging any fare from them. “Indian nationals are not required to pay any money for the repatriation… the cost towards their evacuation is being met by the government,” she added.

She said a passenger ship,Scotia Prince,would reach Benghazi on Saturday morning after dropping the first batch of 1,188 Indian nationals to Alexandria in Egypt on Thursday night. The passengers dropped by it had already reached Delhi and Mumbai on Air India special flights.

The minister said another passenger ship,Red Star One,was on its way to Misurata and Sirte to take Indian nationals to Malta from where they would be brought back on special flights from Valletta. She said an air bridge was being established between Sehba and India from Friday night and 2,000 Indians would be evacuated from there in next five days. As many as 750 Indian nationals had reached Benghazi from Kufra in southern Libya by land route and would be picked up by a passenger vessel reaching there.

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