Op Samudra Setu next phase starts today; over 250 Indians to return from Maldives

New Delhi (NVI): Indian Naval ship (INS) Airavat is all set to bring back around 250 Indian nationals from the Maldives as part of the next phase of ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ that kicks-in from today.

The Navy ship which reached Male yesterday will set sail for Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu with the evacuated Indian citizens late today.

The Indian Embassy in the Maldives tweeted that the passengers of today’s evacuation by INS Airavat were being assisted and provided food packets at the Velana airport in Male.

The Indian Navy had started Operation Samudra Setu (Sea Bridge) on May 8 as part of national efforts to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas who are stuck in foreign countries amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Navy had also deployed INS Jalashwa and INS Magar in earlier phases of the evacuation process.

#INSAiravat waits patiently at #Malé port for passengers to commence boarding. She will set sail for #Tuticorin later today as part of Op. #SamudraSetu.@indiannavy @MEAIndia @DDNewslive @CollectorTuty pic.twitter.com/H4LvgvqbD7

On June 11, INS Shardul reached Porbandar in Gujarat with 233 Indians stranded in Iran. All of them were quarantined for seven days at various locations in Porbandar.

Earlier, INS ‘Jalashwa’ and INS ‘Magar’ had evacuated 2,874 Indians from the Maldives and Sri Lanka to ports of Kochi and Tuticorin under ‘Samudra Setu’ operation.