Jeddah: The government of India has been evacuating its citizens from war-torn Sudan under Operation Kaveri. On Wednesday morning, an IAF aircraft carrying the third batch comprising 135 Indians from Port Sudan arrived in Jeddha. Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan is coordinating the rescue operations by camping in Jeddah. India launched the mission 'Operation Kaveri' on Monday.
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar tweeted that the first C-130 flight landed in Jeddha with another 121 Indians from Sudan and they will be taken to home soon.
Earlier on Tuesday, naval vessel INS Sumedha took 278 Indians who were stranded in Sudan to Jeddah port.
Hours later, a C-130J heavy-lift transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force also landed at Port Sudan to undertake evacuation operations, officials said.
Separately, the Indian Navy's second ship, INS Teg, arrived in Port Sudan to bring back more Indians under New Delhi's mission 'Operation Kaveri' that has been launched to evacuate around 3,000 Indians from Sudan, the officials said.
India has set up a control room in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah to facilitate the evacuation of Indians from Sudan.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has reached Jeddah to oversee the evacuation mission.
From Jeddah, India is set to bring back the Indians home in military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
In another tweet, Bagchi said INS Teg also joined the evacuation mission.
"INS Teg joins #OperationKaveri. Arrives at Port Sudan with additional officials and essential relief supplies for stranded Indians. Will boost ongoing evacuation efforts by Embassy Camp Office at Port Sudan," he said.
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.
India stepped up its efforts to evacuate the Indians from Sudan as a 72-hour truce was agreed to between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) following intense negotiations.
The Indian Navy said its mission deployed warship INS Sumedha was diverted for evacuation of the citizens stranded in Sudan.
Referring to the evacuation mission, Muraleedharan said necessary infrastructure is in place in both Port Sudan and Jeddah.
"Upon arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to join Team #OperationKaveri, visited the control room set up to facilitate evacuation of Indians from Sudan," he said on Twitter.
"Necessary infrastructure is in place in both Port Sudan and Jeddah. The team is in full readiness on the ground," he added.
Muraleedharan also inspected a transit facility for the Indians in Jeddah.
"Inspected transit facility @IndianPage, Jeddah where Indians evacuated from Sudan will be received & put up briefly before travel to India," he tweeted.
The minister said the facility is fully equipped with mattresses, fresh meals, toilets, and medical support.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday announced the launch of the mission 'Operation Kaveri' to bring back the stranded Indians from Sudan that has been witnessing fierce fighting following a power struggle between the regular army and the RSF.
India on Sunday said it has positioned two transport aircraft of the IAF in Jeddah and the naval ship INS Sumedha at Port Sudan as part of its contingency plans to evacuate the Indians.
Apart from the Sudanese authorities, the MEA and the Indian embassy in Sudan have been in regular touch with the UN, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and the US among others.
At a high-level meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued directions for the preparation of contingency plans to evacuate Indians from Sudan.
After the meeting, the PMO said Modi instructed officials to prepare contingency evacuation plans, accounting for the rapidly shifting security landscape in Sudan and the viability of various options.
Last week, Jaishankar spoke to his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt on the ground situation in Sudan with a focus on ensuring the safety of the Indians.
On Thursday, Jaishankar discussed the situation in Sudan with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
(With PTI inputs)