India has brought back "over 15,920" of its nationals in 76 flights under evacuation mission 'Operation Ganga' that was launched following Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, officials said on Sunday. The Indian embassy in Hungary suggested that the evacuation mission from the country is nearing completion as it is beginning the last leg of flights under the operation.
India has been bringing back its nationals from Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova after they crossed over to these countries from Ukraine through land border transit points. The first flight had returned with the stranded Indians on February 26 from Bucharest. Ukraine had closed its airspace for civilian aircraft after Russia began the military operation.
According to the officials, around 2,500 Indians were evacuated on 13 flights in the last 24 hours. They said seven flights are scheduled over the next 24 hours to bring back stranded Indians from Hungary, Romania and Poland. There will be five flights from Budapest, one each from Rzeszow in Poland and Suceava in Romania.
"Under Operation Ganga, so far 76 Flights have brought over 15,920 Indians back to India. Out these 76 flights, 13 flights landed in last 24 hours," said an official. The Indian embasy in Hungary posted an "important announcement" on Twitter asking Indian students who are still in that country to report to designated contact points for return to India. "Important Announcement: Embassy of India begins its last leg of Operation Ganga flights today. All those students staying in their OWN accommodation ( other than arranged by Embassy) are requested to reach @Hungariacitycentre, Rakoczi Ut 90, Budapest between 10 am-12 pm," it said.
Separately, the Indian embassy in Ukraine asked all Indian nationals who are still stuck in the conflict-stricken country to fill up an online form on an urgent basis. "All Indian nationals who still remain in Ukraine are requested to fill up the details contained in the attached Google Form on an URGENT BASIS. Be Safe Be Strong," it tweeted. The details sought in the Google form are name, email, phone number, address of current stay, passport details, gender and age.
The embassy also asked for indicating the current location of the Indians still stranded in Ukraine. A list of locations has been provided in the form and an option has been given to select the location from the list. The locations mentioned in the online form are Cherkassy, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khmelnytsky, Kirovograd, Kyiv, Luhansk, Lviv, Mykolaiv and Odessa. The list also included Poltava, Rivne, Sumy, Ternopil, Vinnytsya, Volyn, Zakarpattya, Zaporozhzhya and Zhytomyr.
Officials said over 21,000 Indians came out of Ukraine since the issuance of advisory weeks before the conflict began. Out of these, 19920 Indians have already reached India, they said. Six tranches of humanitarian aid were sent earlier for Ukraine and and on Sunday one more tranche weighing six tonnes was dispatched by an IAF flight to Poland. The MEA control room, as well as the control centres operated by the Indian embassies, continue to operate on 24x7 basis, the officials said. The MEA control room has attended to 12435 calls and 9026 e-mails till Sunday afternoon, according to the officials.
With PTI Inputs