New Delhi: India has deployed the third naval ship INS Tarkash for evacuation operations being carried out in conflict-ridden Sudan, said Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Thursday.
The Foreign Secretary made the above remarks while addressing a media briefing of the Ministry of External Affairs on Operation Kaveri, launched by the Government of India to rescue the stranded Indians in conflict-ridden Sudan.
“I’m informed that the third ship, INS Tarkash, has also reached Port Sudan today as part of our efforts,” Kwatra said.
Apprising the media persons about how the rescue operation is going in Sudan, the Foreign Secretary said, “Two naval ships have also been positioned as part of Government of India efforts. INS Sumedha was the first one to dock, took up, picked up roughly 300 odd Indians yesterday, brought them to Port Jeddah and is today back in Port Sudan to fetch the next group of Indians and bring them to safe harbours.”
Kwatra said that the Government of India is making several efforts to rescue the Indians from Sudan including setting up of control room in India and in Sudan as well.
“PM Narendra Modi addressed a high-level meeting in which he personally reviewed and directed the officials of the Government of India to take suitable measures to assist and bring back these stranded Indians,” Kwatra said.
The Foreign Secretary also said, “As part of our efforts, two C-130 aircraft of Indian Air Force have been mobilised and are constantly positioned in Jeddah, and have been there since April 19. We have also set up a control room in Jeddah and a control room in Port Sudan. So we have two control rooms working along with our embassy. So there’s a full triangulation of efforts between the control room in Jeddah through our consulate and mission in Riyadh, through the control room team in Port Sudan, which is the north-eastern coast of Sudan, and our embassy in Khartoum City.”
Setting aside speculations on how many Indians might be stranded in Sudan, Kwatra said, “Our estimate is that approximately that there are 3500 Indians. These are approximate numbers.”
Sudan has been witnessing violence due to the fighting between the army and para-military forces.
A 72-hour ceasefire was imposed to pacify the skirmish as more than 400 people have died in Sudan, Khaleej Times reported.
(With ANI Inputs)