New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) The government informed parliament Friday that 9,209 Indian nationals – over half of the total Indians stranded in strife-torn Libya – would have been evacuated from the country by the end of the day and stressed that the entire exercise would be completed by March 10.”By the end of the day today (Friday), 9,209 Indian nationals would have been evacuated out of Libya, including 1,450 out of Tripoli and Sehba by Air India flights,” Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur told the Rajya Sabha.
“We expect to complete the exercise of evacuating all those desirous of leaving Libya by March 10,” she said, adding that some Indian nationals have opted to stay on in the country.
“The first special flight of Air India left Libya Feb 26. Since then, an air bridge has been established between Tripoli and Delhi,” Preneet Kaur said.
Earlier, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan had directed the government to make a statement on the evacuation of Indian citizens from Libya in view of the concern expressed by members about delays.
The deputy chairman said the government should make a statement by Monday. However, several members, including those from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), demanded an early reply.
The situation in Libya has worsened as forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have launched fierce counter attacks against pro-democracy protesters in several cities.