Covid-19: INS Jalashwa reaches Male to evacuate Indian nationals1 min read . Updated: 07 May 2020, 02:30 PM IST
- The navy has codenamed its evacuation mission, Samudra Setu, under which many ships will go to the Maldives, Gulf countries
- Around 30,000 Indians working and living in the Maldives are estimated to be stranded on the island nation
NEW DELHI: Indian Navy ship (INS) Jalashwa on Thursday arrived at the Port of Male as part of the country's efforts to evacuate thousands of nationals stranded in the Maldives due to the covid-19 pandemic.
“Our deepest gratitude to @indiannavy on behalf of Indians in Maldives for this humanitarian gesture," said the Indian high commission in Male in a Twitter post. The commission also posted a video of the amphibious transport dock steaming into the Male port.
Around 30,000 Indians working and living in the Maldives are estimated to be stranded on the island nation.
The Indian Navy has codenamed its evacuation mission, Samudra Setu, under which several of its ships will go to the Maldives and Gulf countries to rescue citizens. This is part of a broader evacuation plan that is codenamed, Vande Bharat, which aims to rescue almost 15,000 people in a week, starting 7 May.
“In view of the prevailing lock-down, the Indian Navy has been tasked to evacuate stranded Indian nationals from Maldives as part of Phase-1, commencing 8 May. Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa and Magar are headed to Malè, Maldives for this operation," the Indian Navy said in a statement.
The Indian Navy has been part of evacuation missions, including Operation Sukoon in 2006 and Operation Rahat in 2015, in the past.
In Operation Sukoon, Indian Navy ships evacuated Indian, Sri Lankan, Nepalese nationals, and Lebanese citizens with Indian spouses, from the conflict zone during the 2006 Lebanon War. Indian naval ships--the destroyer INS Mumbai, the frigates INS Brahmaputra and INS Betwa and the fleet tanker INS Shakti were deployed during Operation Sukoon. The ships transported the evacuees to Cyprus, from where Air India flights brought them back to India.
In 2015, the Indian Navy took part in Operation Rahat following the outbreak of hostilities in Yemen between Saudi-backed forces and Iran-backed groups in. Indian nationals were evacuated from Yemen to Djibouti, from where they were repatriated to India by air. Indian Naval Ships Sumitra, Mumbai, Tarkash and passenger vessels Kavaratti and Corals had participated in the operation.