Naval ship carrying 685 stranded Indians leaves Sri Lanka

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A total of 685 Indian nationals stranded in Sri Lanka due to the COVID-19 linked international travel restrictions were evacuated on Monday from the island nation onboard an Indian Navy warship.

INS Jalashwa, carrying 685 people, including 125 women and seven children, started sailing back home from Colombo port in Sri Lanka on Monday night, Defence sources said here.

The ship is expected to arrive in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu before noon on Tuesday, they said. Participating in the third phase of Navy’s mission to bring back Indian citizens stranded abroad, it had reached Colombo on Monday morning.

The Indian Navy under its ambitious “Operation Samudra Setu” programme had safely repatriated nearly 1,500 Indian nationals from the Maldives in first two phases in its two vessels–INS Jalashwa and INS Magar on May 10, May 12 and May 17.

This was part of the Vande Bharat mission to repatriate stranded Indians in foreign countries through air and sea routes.

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