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Was holed up in basement: Indian who escaped Sudan

The conflict in Sudan broke out around mid-April and India has evacuated over 1,950 of its citizens and is looking to rescue more
Last Updated : 30 April 2023, 17:03 IST
Last Updated : 30 April 2023, 17:03 IST

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There was constant bombing and gunfire as the Sudanese army and a paramilitary force engaged on the streets of Khartoum, recalled Deepak Agnihotri, who along with seven others, was holed up in a basement room before getting an opportunity to escape the strife-torn nation.

The conflict in the north African country broke out around mid-April and India has evacuated over 1,950 of its citizens and is looking to rescue more.

"We were in touch with the Indian embassy and when we got clearance to move, we drove to Port Sudan," said the 26-year-old, a native of Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur who reached India on Thursday.

From there, "on a boat arranged by our employer, we reached Jeddah (in Saudi Arabia)", said Agnihotri, who was working for an IT firm in Sudan since 2019.

India on Sunday brought home 229 people under 'Operation Kaveri' to evacuate stranded Indians from Sudan. On Saturday, 365 people had arrived, 754 on Friday, 246 on Thursday and the first batch of 360 evacuees reached Delhi on Wednesday.

Agnihotri told reporters here, "We were in our apartments as the conflict broke out. But as supplies were dwindling, we moved to a room in the basement of our building with whatever we had."

"We had just enough water and gas to cook food to survive," he said and added that once authorities gave the clearance, "we moved to Port Sudan".

He said after reaching Jeddah, he and others boarded an Indian Air Force transport aircraft and returned home. "I thank the Indian government for bringing us back home safely," Agnihotri said

"My wife returned to India on March 31 as the situation was getting tense," he said and added that the condition is worsening in the African nation.

Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the country's army and a paramilitary group for the last 15 days.

Under 'Operation Kaveri', India is taking the evacuees to Jeddah from where they are returning home.

India has set up a transit facility in the Saudi Arabian city and Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan is overseeing the evacuation mission.

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Published 30 April 2023, 11:16 IST

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