Sunday, February 27, 2011

Third batch of Indians arrives from Libya

Mumbai: The third batch of 67 Indians arrived in Mumbai from Libya early on Monday morning. So far, over 500 Indians have returned from strife-torn Libya on special Air India flights, but thousands are still stranded.

Two more Air India flights will soon leave to ferry more Indians back home. Three navy ships as well as a chartered passenger ship have also set sail as part of India's Operation Safe Homecoming.

The first batch of 291 people from Tripoli landed in the national capital late on Saturday night at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The second flight with 237 Indians on board landed at the IGI airport early on Sunday.

Those who returned left Libya in a hurry.

"Other than my passport, I don't have anything. We came back to save our lives and were stranded at the airport for 12 hours. The airport seemed like a refugee camp," said one of the passengers.

One such family is that of the Parekhs. They have spent the last few days trying to get out of war-torn and increasingly unsafe Libya.

"Things were getting really bad for the last 10 days. People were killing each other, and there was self-imposed curfew. We couldn't go out to buy regular food; our children stayed at home," said Narayan Parekh.

But for now, the relief of being away from the sound of gunfire is all that matters. For the past 27 years, Tripoli has been their home so their sense of displacement is acute.


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