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Stranded in Libya, families wait in India

Stranded in Libya, families wait in India


Mtoday news / CNN

New Delhi, Feb 24:  Even as the government said it was putting in place plans for possible evacuation of 18,000 Indians in Libya - with communication lines cut off in most places - it has been difficult for even the Indian embassy to help the stranded.

The Indians in Libya, through any means of communication they can, are trying to send a message for quick and more help.

 

"The situation is very tense here and very scary. We are inside our camp but we’re running out of food and money. Outside there is a very tense situation with lots going on. There were protests and when we went out yesterday, we saw very heavily guarded people, in civilian dresses. They’re roaming the roads with ammunition... We just want help from the Government of India so that we can be evacuated as soon as possible," appealed Ajay Gupta, an engineer from Tripoli, through the web.

Ajay’s wife and two daughters are worried sick in Bhopal. "My younger daughter doesn’t understand much, but my elder daughter was very worried. She cried a lot and her exams are going on...we are looking forward for him to come back by any means and be with us again," said Ajay’s wife.

"It is 5:30 am here now, I heard a sound outside the house. It could be a bomb...the Indians are scared, we request the Indian government to take immediate decision to evacuate us," said Mohammad Ibrahim, another Indian stranded in Libya. 

Kapil Dev Ranwan from Gurgaon, is one of the many waiting for their loved ones to return from Libya.

"I spoke to my father today morning after trying for around 1000 times. He was at the airport and has stayed at the airport for almost 24 hours without any help. He had a confirmed ticket, but all the commercial airlines have been cancelled and only the chartered flights are going out and there are none for Indians," said Kapil.

 


 
The Indian government is repeating it’s assurance that there is no need to panic, but to evacuate 18,000 people is a tough task, and sources tell NDTV the problem is they aren’t getting enough help from the Libyan Embassy in Delhi to coordinate.


Over 200 nurses from India stranded in Libya


As the unrest in Libya escalates, it is an anxious wait for the families of over 200 Indian nurses from Kerala who work in state-run hospitals there. As the situation in Libyan capital Tripoli gets worse by the day, an Indian eyewitness - a country manager of a private company who managed to fly home to Chennai - speaks of the horror on the streets of the trouble-torn capital marred by firing and looting.


Indian Navy sending 3 ships to evacuate Indians from Libya


New Delhi:  India is sending three Naval ships to evacuate its citizens from Libya. 18,000 Indians are currently based in Libya, many of them work for construction companies.

Government sources say two destroyers and INS Jalashawa (USS Trenton) will be dispatched from Mumbai in the next few hours. They will take 12 days to reach Libya.

In the meantime, the government has hired a private cruise ship that was already in the region. It can accommodate 1200 passengers and is sailing now from Egypt to Benghazi, the centre of the revolt in Libya. Government and medical officials will be on board the ship to provide assistance.

After leaving Benghazi, the cruise ship, named the Scotia Prince, is expected to dock in Alexandria in Egypt by March 1. From there, the passengers will be flown to India on special Air India flights.

The Naval ships will be used to move Indians from Tripoli to Alexandria. 8500 people are to be evacuated by the navy from Tripoli, another 1500 from Benghazi. 

Punj Lloyd, DS Constructions and Simplex Projects Limited are among the larger employers of Indians in Libya.

While smaller companies are keen to remove their workers, larger companies have told government officials that they’d like to wait for a week to see how the massive protests unfold. So far, Col Muammar Gaddafi has retaliated against demonstrators demanding his exit with unrestrained force.



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