Mumbai, Feb 25: Two Air India special planes left for Tripoli on late Friday night to bring back Indian nationals trapped in the ongoing violence.
One aircraft left from Mumbai and the other from Delhi after obtaining permission from the External Affairs Ministry, reports India TV reporter Sachin Chaudhary.The two aircraft which have left for Tripoli empty are expected to bring in nearly 700 Indian nationals.
The Libyan government has given landing clearance for two Air India planes per day from tomorrow for evacuation of Indian nationals, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said on Friday.He said two flights have been given clearance to operate by Libyan authorities for ten days.
"As per schedule informed by Air India today, two flights per day from tomorrow to March 7 will be operated," the minister said.
He said the country has also requested the Libyan government to extend the flight clearance if the evacuation was not completed within the given time period.
India had already chartered ships to evacuate its nationals numbering about 18,000 in strife-torn Libya and they have set sail from Egypt. India was also considering dispatching three warships including its largest amphibious vessel INS Jalashwa.
The Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that it has come to notice that some unscrupulous elements are asking for payments/handling charges/facilitation fee etc., for arranging evacuation of Indian nationals, through the Embassy of India in Libya.
"These activities are completely illegal and individuals engaged in them should be immediately reported to the law enforcement authorities," it said.
It is further emphasised that "NO payment or charge" of any kind is being levied by the government for the evacuation or assisted departure of any Indian national from Libya, the ministry said. PTI