New Delhi: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for rescuing Bangladeshi nationals under ‘Operation Ganga’, alongside the stranded Indian nationals who were being evacuated from war-torn Ukraine.
India has rescued nine nationals of the Bengali-speaking neighbouring country from Ukraine so far, as well as several Nepalese and Tunisian students, through the special flights. One Pakistani national was also rescued by Indian authorities, and is now en route to western Ukraine for further evacuation out of the country.
Under ‘Operation Ganga’, India has been trying to evacuate its nationals, mainly students, from Ukraine since late-February, but was having trouble doing so in eastern parts of the country, particularly the northeastern city of Sumy, where almost 700 Indian students had been stranded and weren’t able to leave despite repeated efforts.
However on Monday, following several rounds of Russia-Ukraine talks, a failed Sumy evacuation attempt, and a call from PM Modi to Russia and Ukraine’s leaders.
On Tuesday, Russia finally declared a cease-fire to conduct a “humanitarian operation” starting at 12:30 pm India time. The Russian embassy in India released a list of “humanitarian corridors” that it is ready to provide, and all 694 Indians stranded in Sumy were able to leave Ukraine, reported the centre.
About 18,000 Indians have been brought to their motherland back from Ukraine via the special flights since February 22. The war in Ukraine began on February 24, when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of its ex-Soviet neighbour, following which several Ukrainian cities have been under near-constant attack.