Operation Kaveri: Under 'Operation Kaveri', an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft with 246 Indian evacuees from war-torn Sudan landed in Mumbai on Thursday. According to an official, the aircraft took off from Jeddah around 11 am and landed in Mumbai around 3 pm.
"Our efforts to swiftly send Indians back home from Jeddah are paying. 246 Indians will be in Mumbai soon, travelling by IAF C17 Globemaster. Happy to see them off at Jeddah airport,” tweeted Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan minutes before the plane left for Mumbai.
As part of "Operation Kaveri," India has been taking its citizens in buses from conflict zones of Khartoum and other troubled areas to Port Sudan from where they are being taken to the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah in Indian Air Force's heavy-lift transport aircraft and Indian Navy's ships.
The distance between Khartoum and Port Sudan is around 850 km and the travel time by bus varies from 12 hours to 18 hours considering the prevailing situation and whether the vehicles are operating during the day or night.
'India is constantly monitoring the situation in Sudan'
Addressing a special press briefing, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan said that India is constantly monitoring the situation in Sudan ever since the conflict broke out there between the Sudanese armed forces and the paramilitary forces on April 15.
"We are constantly monitoring the situation in Sudan ever since the conflict broke out there between the Sudanese armed forces and the paramilitary forces which was on April 15. Thereafter, just to give you a flavour of the ground situation. Several times, ceasefires have been declared from both sides. Many of those ceasefires were not honoured, some of them were honoured partially," Vinay Kwatra said.
Meanwhile, an Indian national, who returned from Sudan, hailed the rescue operation carried out by the Union Government. "We are feeling happy as we've returned to our home. The rescue operation is going on at a fast pace. We are satisfied with the govt," he added.
First flight landed in Delhi
Earlier on Wednesday (April 26), the first flight carrying Indian nationals evacuated from violence-hit Sudan landed in the national capital. As the Indian nationals arrived in Delhi from Sudan, 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', 'Indian Army Zindabad', and 'PM Narendra Modi Zindabad' slogans were chanted by them. The New Delhi-bound flight with 360 Indians onboard left Jeddah Airport earlier on Wednesday.
India has launched 'Operation Kaveri' to bring back Indians stranded in conflict-hit Sudan. The Northeast African country is experiencing bloodshed as a result of clashes between the army and paramilitary forces. Even though there is a 72-hour ceasefire, there have been allegations of violence, India has deployed its military planes and warships to rescue Indians from the country.
(With inputs from agencies)