Ballari, May 5: Highlighting "Operation Kaveri" to evacuate stranded Indians in conflict-ridden Sudan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that even big countries refused to evacuate their citizens but, India carried on the operations for the safety of its citizens.
"The situation of civil war in Sudan is such that even big countries refused to evacuate their citizens from there, but the Government of India was engaged in its efforts. We conducted Operation Kaveri and brought back our people from such places where it was difficult to reach by plane and Congress did not support the country in such difficult times," said PM Narendra Modi in Ballari, Karnataka while addressing a crowd in the poll-bound state. So far, more than 3500 people have returned to their homeland under Operation Kaveri, which was run to evacuate Indians trapped in Sudan.
"I can't see my countrymen in pain and to save them I can go upto any extent. Our government ensured nurses are rescued from Iraq, Group Captain Abhinandan was brought back to India," said PM Modi.
"The BJP government launched Operation Kaveri and rescued Indians from Sudan. Congress was waiting for an unfortunate incident to happen to play politics with the people of Karnataka," he added.
Hitting out at Congress he alleged that the party has nurtured and given shelter to terror for vote-bank politics.
"For vote-bank politics, Congress has nurtured and given shelter to terror," alleged PM Modi at Ballari election rally.
Meanwhile, Operation Kaveri came to a close today. "Today, we closed down the transit facility created at the International Indian School Jeddah @IndianPage for Sudan evacuees during
#OperationKaveri. The facility provided comfort to more than 3500 evacuees & served as the nerve centre for planning their onward movement to India," tweeted Indian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
"Prime Minister @narendramodi 's commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all Indians abroad was our inspiration," tweeted External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
An Indian Air Force C130 J flight carrying 47 passengers landed in India on Friday. With this arrival, 3862 persons have been moved out of Sudan through Operation Kaveri.
Moving passengers to Port Sudan from various locations across the country in precarious security circumstances was a complex exercise.
"Via 17 Indian Airforce flights and 5 Indian Navy Ship sorties, our people were moved from Port Sudan to safety in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 86 nationals were evacuated through the countries bordering Sudan. The flight from Wadi Sayyidna which was executed at great risk also deserves recognition. From Jeddah, airforce and commercial flights have brought people home. We are grateful to Saudi Arabia for hosting them and facilitating this process," tweeted Jaishankar.
He also appreciated the support of Chad, Egypt, France, South Sudan, UAE, UK, US and UN and recognised the contribution of Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan whose presence on the ground was a source of strength and reassurance.