Bhatkal Family finally returns from Yemen, Thanks Indian Government for Timely Help

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Bhatkal: A Bhatkal family which was stranded in war ridden Yemen, finally reached their hometown on April 3. This has brought a sigh of relief to Yunus Shabandari and his family along with his kin in Bhatkal, who had been waiting for them since the fighting in Yemen began.

Two groups of Indian nationals evacuated from war ridden Yemen landed at Kochi and Mumbai international airports on Thursday morning. An Indian Air Force plane carrying 168 Indian nationals landed at the Kochi airport at 2 am, while another with 190 onboard landed in Mumbai at 3:30 am.

Indians who arrived in Kochi included nurses and workers among others and were brought by a special flight – Indian Air Force C17 Globemaster – bringing an end to their week-long ordeal.

Nearly 2,500 Indian nationals are waiting in Sana to get out of the strife-torn country. This is the fourth major evacuation which the Indian government has undertaken. The first three were in Ukraine, Iraq and Libya.


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Yemen has been witnessing a fierce battle between Saudi-led coalition and Shiite rebels, who have battled their way into the heart of Yemen’s main southern city Aden where fighting raged in the former stronghold of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi who has fled overseas.

Six residents of Bhatkal, who were stranded in the war-hit country, have returned home on Friday. They reached Mumbai in the wee hours of Thursday, boarded the Netravati Express train and reached Bhatkal at around 2:30 am.

Yunus Shabandari, his wife Qanita and children Innas, Lamia and Ahmed were stranded in Aden, Yemen. Another resident of Bhatkal, Muhammad Shayique Ruknuddin, was also with them. They were rescued by INS Sumitra and were later taken to Djibouti.

Speaking to reporters, Yunus Shabandari thanked the people of Bhatkal and the media for supporting him when he was stranded in the war torn country.

“We were rescued from Aden by the Indian Air force and from there, we reached the Djibouti port in Africa. Later, we were brought to Mumbai by special flights of the Air Force. Minister of State for External Affairs, V K Singh was with us in Djibouti,” he said.

“We spent the last week in anxiety, uncertain if we would ever see our families back home again. Every Indian in Yemen was looking towards India and praying for their rescue and finally it has happened! We thank the Indian government wholeheartedly for taking necessary security measures and rescuing us on time,” Shabandri said.

“When we landed at the Mumbai airport by IAF planes, the Maharashtra government took good care of us and made all necessary arrangements for our comfort. They even booked AC train tickets for us to take us to our respective hometowns,” he added.

“The Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh who came to Djibouti to oversee the evacuation operation enquired about our condition and helped us. I am indebted to him,” Shabandri said.

Another person Shaique Ruknuddin who also returned from Yemen said that the situation in Sana had worsened in the last 10 days. “I was terrified to hear the sound of gun fire and bomb shells each day. There was tension in the vicinity of the city for over a month now,” he added.

“All the shops were closed, we did not have food for many days,” he said.

The evacuees who reached Bhatkal by Netravati Express were welcomed at the railway station in Bhatkal.

Bhatkal Tahshildar V N Badkar, Jali Panchayat President Nilwar Ansari, Zilla Panchayat member Abdur Raheem Shaikh, TMC Councillor Fayyaz Mulla, Tanzeem executive member Moulana Yasir Barmawar and many others met the family today, April 3, afternoon and expressed happiness on their safe return.

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