IAF plane carrying 246 Indians fleeing conflict-torn Sudan lands in Mumbai as part of Operation Kaveri

Operation Kaveri: IAF plane carrying 246 Indians evacuated from conflict-hit Sudan lands in Mumbai

IAF plane carrying 246 Indians fleeing conflict-torn Sudan lands in Mumbai as part of Operation Kaveri

An Indian Air Force aircraft carrying 246 Indians evacuated from conflict-hit Sudan landed in Mumbai on Thursday.

The plane, which took off from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia around 11 am IST, landed at the city airport at 3.15 pm, an official said.

“Another #OperationKaveri flight comes to Mumbai. 246 more Indians come back to the motherland,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.

The first batch of 360 Indians evacuated from Sudan arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Our efforts to swiftly send Indians back home from Jeddah are paying. 246 Indians will be in Mumbai soon, travelling by IAF C17 Globemaster. Happy to see them off at Jeddah airport, tweeted Union minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan minutes before the plane left for Mumbai.

Meanwhile, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), in a statement issued in the evening, said a batch of 244 Indian evacuees from the strife-torn African country arrived at the Mumbai aerodrome from Jeddah.

The first flight to the city, C17, under the Indian government’s evacuation mission ‘Operation Kaveri’, landed at the airport at 15.14 pm from Jeddah, carrying 244 Indian nationals, CSMIA said in the statement.

The evacuees were from as many as 18 states, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, the private airport operator has said.

Airport authorities made elaborate arrangements for the returnees.

These included operationalisation of 10 dedicated counters at immigration for processing and clearance, deployment of four coaches and provision of 300 pre-packed snack boxes and refreshment for passengers, the statement said.

Besides, thermal checks were carried out by officials of airport health offices, it added.

Evacuation being carried out via Saudi Arabia

Under ‘Operation Kaveri’, India has been taking its citizens in buses from conflict zones of Khartoum and other troubled areas to Port Sudan from where they are being taken to the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah in IAF’s heavy-lift transport aircraft and Indian Navy’s ships.

The distance between Khartoum and Port Sudan is around 850 km and the travel time by bus varies from 12 hours to 18 hours considering the prevailing situation and whether the vehicles are operating during the day or night.

Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the country’s army and  paramilitary group RSF.

India earlier stepped up evacuation efforts after the two warring sides declared a 72-hour truce

With inputs from PTI