Indian evacuees from Libya say they were beaten up by army

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NEW DELHI - The fourth batch of 331 evacuees, who returned to New Delhi from protest-hit Libya, today said that they were beaten up by army personnel who alleged that they were mercenaries.

“In the bus, they took away all our money and the children’s stuff as well. The army people were beating us up and saying, ‘you are militants,’ and have even taken away the SIM cards from our phones for checking that we haven’t made any videos. The Indian government has helped us a lot. All facilities are being given,” said Daulat Ram, one of the evacuees.

Rishi Raj, another evacuee said: “More people were fleeing the north African country, as the government there was expecting protests to intensify in the coming days.

“The situation out there is the worst, and more and more people are flying out everyday, and most of the Indians and Chinese-looks like are remaining out there, and rest all other nationals have been flying out. The government there is expecting much more of a protest with time, with coming days, so it’s good that we are out right now with the help of Indian government” he added.

Meanwhile, in Kolkata, Sister Nirmala, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, said their chapters were still functioning in both Libya and Egypt.

“In Libya, there are two houses of our sisters; they are functioning all right and also in Egypt we have four houses, they are all right and functioning …They are caring for those sick and suffering,” she said.

Earlier, a fourth batch of 331 Indians arrived here from Libya. Air India flight AI-170 landed at the Terminal-2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport at around 4:30 a.m.

Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi, who is also the Overseas Indian Affairs Minister, was present at the airport to receive them.

Five hundred and fifty seven more Indians have been airlifted from Libya. Three more aircrafts -two Boeing 747-400 and Airbus 330 will be sent to Tripoli to evacuate the Indians.

On Sunday, two special Air India planes have brought back 528 Indians citizens.

The government has arranged for two flights to be dispatched daily till March 7 to bring back the stranded Indians from Libya, where a revolt against the Muammar Gaddafi Government has turned violent and claimed over 1,000 lives so far.

In addition to this, three specially equipped naval vessels are scheduled to reach there in ten days. Passenger ship M V Scotia Prince, which was on its way to Toothukudi from Greece had been diverted to Libya to rescue the 18000 Indians. (ANI)

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