Asks IAF to join evacuation operation, briefs Prez Kovind
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired another high level meeting on Tuesday regarding the Ukraine crisis and expressed deep anguish at the death of Indian student Naveen Shekharappa.
“The meeting began with an expression of deep regret and condolences on death of Naveen, who died earlier today, PM conveyed deep anguish at death of the Indian national,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said in a special briefing on Operation Ganga.
Earlier, the Prime Minister also spoke to the father of the killed Indian student. This was 4th meeting on Ukraine in the past 48 hours as the crisis further deepens with Russia scaling up its offensive.
The meeting was attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and officials of the security agencies to discuss the evacuation of stranded Indians in war torn Ukraine.
Shrigla said that evacuation from Kharkiv is now government’s priority as 40 percent of the Indian nationals remaining in Ukraine are in Kharkiv, Sumy area.
He said that there are no Indian nationals left in Kyiv. Foreign Secretary also called Ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to reiterate India’s demand for urgent safe passage for Indian nationals who are still in Kharkiv and cities of other conflict zones.
Join evacuation operation: PM to IAF
In order to scale up the ongoing evacuation efforts under ‘Operational Ganga’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked the Indian Air Force (IAF) to join the evacuation efforts, sources said here.
“Leveraging the capacities of our Air Force will ensure that more people can be evacuated in a shorter time frame and it will also help deliver humanitarian aid more efficiently,” the sources further said.
The Indian Air Force is likely to deploy several C-17 aircrafts as part of Operation Ganga from Tuesday, they added.
Anticipating the enormity of the situation in Ukraine as around 14,000 Indian nationals are still in the war-torn country, the government officials said that the IAF is ready with an evacuation plan.
The inclusion of IAF transport aircraft to carry out the evacuation efforts was necessary because thousands of Indians are stuck in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa.
The External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday advised all Indian nationals to leave Ukraine’s capital as soon as possible as the situation in Kyiv was getting worse day by day by the attacks of the Russian Army, the officials, who are aware of the developments, said.
IAF transport aircraft like C-17 Globemaster has a large carrying capacity and a big number of evacuees can be ferried from the neighbouring countries of the Ukraine in comparison with civil airlines, they further said, adding that the IAF pilots are trained to fly safely in war-like situations.
Prime Minister Modi is personally monitoring the evacuation mission and he has chaired three high-level meetings till Monday evening.
Till now, over 1600 Indian students have been evacuated from the Ukraine till this morning as the seventh Air India Express flight landed in Mumbai with 182 Indians, mostly students, who departed from Budapest (Hungary) at midnight Monday.
During the high-level meeting held on Monday evening, PM Modi has directed the Ministry of External Affairs officials to make proper arrangements for the students who will be coming to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania till they depart for India.
The four senior Cabinet Ministers, who have been designated as Prime Minister’s ‘Special Envoy’ are departing to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania to oversee the evacuation mission. The visit of four senior ministers to these nations will energise the evacuation efforts. Modi has already talked to the Prime Ministers of Romania and Slovakia for support in evacuating Indians through their countries.
PM Modi briefs Prez on various issues, including Ukraine
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met President Ram Nath Kovind and briefed him on various issues, including the situation in Ukraine.
According to the government sources, Modi updated him about the government’s efforts to evacuate Indian nationals from the war-torn country under the recently launched ‘Operation Ganga’.
He also updated him that over 1,600 Indian students have been evacuated from Ukraine till this morning as the seventh Air India Express flight landed in Mumbai with 182 Indians, mostly students, who departed from Budapest (Hungary) at midnight Monday.
Modi further updated him that he had directed the Ministry of External Affairs officials to make proper arrangements for the students who will be coming to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania till they depart for India.
Detailing the initiatives, the Prime Minister also apprised the President that four senior Cabinet Ministers are departing to the neighbouring countries Poland, Hungary Slovakia and Romania as his ‘Special Envoy’ to oversee the evacuation mission and with the visit of four senior ministers to various nations will energise the evacuation efforts, the sources said.
He also updated Kovind that India will extend help to people from the neighbouring countries and developing countries who are stranded in Ukraine under India’s motto of the world being one family.
The first consignment of relief supplies to Ukraine to deal with the humanitarian situation on Ukraine’s borders would be dispatched Tuesday, the Prime Minister informed the President.
Prime Minister Modi is personally monitoring the situation and he has already chaired three high-level meetings till Monday evening.
The Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is leaving for Romania and Moldova, Kiren Rijiju to Slovakia, Hardeep Singh Puri to Hungary and Gen VK Singh (Retd) will be going to Poland to oversee the evacuation of Indian nationals. (UNI/IANS)