Operation Ajay: Second batch of Indians gather to board return flight from Israel
Indian passengers on Friday night gathered at the airport to board flight back to India from Tel Aviv under ‘Operation Ajay’ launched amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
After safely evacuating 212 Indian nationals from Israel, Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv facilitated more flights to bring second batch of Indian passengers.
The passengers were mainly those who are staying and working in Israel. They applauded the government of India for the initiative and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking to agency, an Indian passenger Ashish Kumar said, “I am going to India. Here, I am a post-doctoral student, Agriculture Research Organisation. The situation in central Israel is quite normal, not like the Gaza border, Beersheba and nearby regions”.
“I think this is a very good initiative of the Indian government. I had seen only European countries evacuating their citizens. So, I appreciate the government for this,” he added.
Wagesh Dwiwedi, another passenger also appreciated the initiative and recalled the tenure of former Minister Sushma Swaraj.
“I work as a visiting scientist at ARO. The situation is tense here because of the bombardings, and it will get even more serious. So, that’s why we are leaving. Everyone is scared at home. Operation Ajay is a very positive step and I really appreciate it. The government has been carrying out such missions since the time of Sushma Swaraj,” he said.
The Indian passengers appreciated the Indian government and thanked the government for the initiative and recalled similar initiative carried out during Russia-Ukraine war.
“I am a post-doctoral fellow at ARO. We are being evacuated because of the tense situation here. The family members were also concerned regarding us. We would like to thank PM Modi and EAM Jaishankar for Operation Ajay. This is a good initiative taking place smoothly,” passenger named Alkesh Hada said.
“We received a message from the government of India that those who want to leave can evacuate. Operation Ajay is a very positive initiative by the government. They have done this before as well, during Russia-Ukraine war. The first batch was evacuated yesterday, and now the second batch is leaving,” another passenger named Pankaj Tripathi stated.
Earlier in the day, the first batch of as many as 212 Indians, including students, who were stranded in Israel amid the ongoing war, arrived in the national capital from the first flight under “Operation Ajay”.
The first flight under Operation Ajay arrived in Delhi at around 6am. They were greeted by Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar at the Delhi airport. Chandrasekhar also interacted with the students who returned from Tel Aviv to Delhi.
The minister reassured the passengers, saying India’s commitment to the safety of every Indian is unwavering. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to protect them,” he said.
Those who were being repatriated from Israel thanked the Indian government for bringing them back.
The first flight bringing Indians took off from Ben Gurion International Airport in the outskirts of Tel Aviv on Thursday night.
As the Israel-Hamas war intensified and the death toll mounting to over 3,000, the Indian government started the evacuation process codenamed Operation Ajay.
(With Inputs from Agency)