Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

As many as six Odias heaved a sigh of relief as they landed in Bhubaneswar in an aircraft from Delhi on Friday after being evacuated from conflict-torn Sudan under Operation Kaveri. 

The returnees who have landed at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) today belong to Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Bhadrak and Jagatsinghpur.

Upon their arrival in Bhubaneswar, the returnees described the terrible ordeal and difficulties they had to endure in the violence-hit Sudan before being rescued.

“I was staying in conflict-torn Khartoum region which has been severely ravaged by bullet and bombs. Somehow, we managed to reach Odisha with great difficulty. The attack began on April 15. We stayed there till April 24. Had we stayed there for one or two more days, we would have lost our lives. There were explosions all around in front of our company. We were so terrified that we couldn’t sleep for nine days. He could hardly eat anything amid the scary scenes,” recalled a returnee.

“I have been staying there since 2017. Earlier, there were also conflicts between the army and a paramilitary group. However, those were not as severe as the current one,” he added.

Narrating his horrifying experience, another returnee said that he along with his company employees were looted at gunpoint.

“We were held at gunpoint for around nine hours. All our valuables were looted. Somehow, we could save our lives and contact the Indian embassy in Sudan. Thanks to the Narendra Modi government and Operation Kaveri, we could return to India,” he said.

Notably, over 600 Indians stranded in war-hit Sudan have been brought to India safely. The latest batch of 246 Indians evacuated from India landed safely in Mumbai on Thursday.

Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the country’s army and a paramilitary group for the last 12 days that has reportedly left around 400 people dead.

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