Two Indian ships – MV Corals and MV Karavatti – are to berth in Kochi on Saturday with 484 evacuees, including 73 Indians and 336 Bangladeshis, in the last lot of people brought out from strife-torn Yemen.
“MV Corals is carrying a total of 318 evacuees, which includes 46 Indians and 272 Bangladeshis, while on board MV Kavaratti are 166 evacuees, which include 27 Indians, 64 Bangladeshis and 75 Yemenis of Indian-origin,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
However, it was not clear when the ships would arrive. While an officical in Kochi said they would arrive at 2.30 p.m., the external affairs ministry said they would arrive at Kochi at 1.30 p.m. Defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar tweeted that the last of the evacuees are arriving in India. “The last of the evacuees, 475 in all, would be arriving Kochi by MVs Kavaratti and Corals tomorrow (Saturday), escorted by INS Tir.”
“A team of Bangladesh officials has already arrived in Kochi to take care of their nationals,” a Cochin Port Trust official told IANS. The two ships departed from Djibouti on April 12, he added.
The Bangladeshis will be flown back to Dhaka by a Biman Bangladesh Airlines special flight. The two ships, together having a capacity of 1,150 passengers, set sail from Kochi on March 30 for Djibouti to bring back stranded Indians.
Earlier this month, India ended its massive evacuation efforts of its nationals in Yemen, pulling out 5,600 people, including 4,640 Indians and 960 nationals from 41 countries. A media report from Dhaka said 136 Bangladeshis have been evacuated from Yemen by an Indian Navy ship that took them to Djibouti on Thursday.
According to bdnews24, Bangladesh is operating a repatriation control room in Djibouti led by its ambassador in Kuwait. The rescued Bangladeshis will be flown back to Dhaka from Djibouti on April 20 in a special flight. Yemen became volatile with the rise of the Shia Houthis rebels who took over the capital city of Sanaa in September last year and ousted President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. (IANS)