600 Indian nationals to be evacuated in the course of this week, says spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin
Shreerupa Mitra-Jha | July 1, 2014 | New Delhi
Forty-six Indian nurses are stuck in crossfire between Sunni militants and the Iraqi army in the conflict zone of Tikrit. Bombing and firing in the area began on Tuesday (July 1).
Informing that the Indian nationals were hiding in the building's basement, the ministry of external affairs (MEA), in its latest statement, described their situation as "extremely delicate". Official MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin stated that "despite the difficulties, we will extricate them." He requested the media to show restraint in contacting them.
Last month, Sunni rebels led by the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), surged out of the Anbar province and seized Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, moving on to the oil refinery centre of Baiji. Thousands fled among reports of extreme atrocity. IS claims to be establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria. The jihadists are continuing to entrench their positions in northern and western Iraq.
Meanwhile, the MEA on Tuesday said that it booked tickets for 233 Indian nationals earlier in the day. Most of the evacuees are from northern India , followed by Hyderabad, with the rest hailing from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Around 1,000 Indians have contacted officials to facilitate their return to India. Almost an equal number, however, want to stay back on their own accord. About 450 Indian workers contacted by the ministry refused to leave work.
Thirty-nine Indians are still in IS's captivity in Mosul; the ministry said they "remain unharmed”.
The MEA has taken a proactive approach for evacuation of at least 600 Indian nationals from Iraq in the course of this week and is in a facilitation phase, according to Akbaruddin.
By adopting a proactive stance, the diplomats are approaching the workers to convince them to leave their place of work and the country. By a facilitation role, the MEA aims to resolve the issues Indian nationals might be facing in leaving the country – paperwork, funding for tickets etc. All Indian workers are being sent through commercial airlines. Airports in Baghdad, Basra, Najaf and Karbala are still operational.
There are mobile teams of Indian officials in all these four places, the MEA said.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who is also the minister for overseas Indian affairs, had a meeting with all ambassadors from the Gulf countries to get an understanding of their assessment of the situation in Iraq and the kind of assistance that can be provided to the Indian nationals – both in the conflict zone and outside – from their respective countries. It was also decided that the part of the welfare fund in Indian missions in the Gulf would be used to help Indian nationals in conflict-ravaged Iraq.
India deployed a warship (used for anti-piracy operations) in the Persian Gulf last Saturday and has also kept jets on standby for rescue operations, reports said. “The national assets will be used, if need be,” Akbaruddin said.
Since there is no Nepalese embassy in Iraq, the Nepal government has requested the Indian government to facilitate the return of their nationals as well to which the Indian government has acquiesced.
Currently, the areas of southern Iraq are considered safe zones.
The major reason for high level of pollution in river Yamuna is inadequate flow due to over extraction of surface and ground water and discharge of untreated effluent, union minister Vijay Goel informed the Lok Sabha on Monday. He said the water resources ministry is supplementing the effor
Centrally sponsored schemes will now onwards run for a fixed period of time, thanks to a sunset date. An outcome review will also be carried out. In public policy, a sunset clause means that it shall cease to have effect after a specific date, unless further legislative/a
For the past 25 years, India has been rising in stature. It is continually called an upcoming superpower but has been unable to reach the promised status. India’s importance in the world is more due to its immense population and potential as a market than any objective assessment of development. Indi
Would keeping an army tank at JNU instil nationalism?
Everyone in Yogi Adityanath`s office declares that Yogi’s political career is founded on the work carried out from there, first when he was mahant of the influential temple, and then as an MP. Vijendra Singh, who works at the office, says “It’s because of these letters that Yogiji has n
Banks have advanced a staggering Rs 29,46,060 crore to the industrial sector, of which Rs 6.93 lakh crore are non-performing assets (NPAs). Finance minister Arun Jaitley informed