New Delhi. Following sustained efforts by the Ministry of External Affairs, a group of 17 Indian nationals from Punjab and Haryana has been successfully evacuated to India. The case was brought to the attention of India Embassy in Tunisia which is also looking after Libya on 26th May this year by the family members of the stranded Indian nationals. They were being held captive by an armed group in Zwara City in Libya after they trafficked from India.
Since then, the Embassy has been in close touch with the family members. The Indian Embassy regularly pursued the matter with Libyan authorities throughout May and June, as well as through informal channels. On 13th June 2023, the Libyan authorities were able to rescue the Indian nationals, but kept them in their custody given that they had illegally entered the country.
Following high level intervention by Indian Ambassador in Tunisia and senior MEA officials from New Delhi, Libyan authorities agreed to release them. During their stay in Libya, Indian Embassy looked after the needs of the Indians, including providing essential food items, medicines and clothes. Since they did not have passports, Emergency Certificates were issued for their travel to India. Tickets for return to India were also provided and paid for by the Indian Embassy. The stranded Indian nationals reached New Delhi yesterday (August 20) evening.
Emotions were riding high at the Delhi international airport late at night on Sunday as 17 Indian nationals returned to their homeland after six grueling months of being held in captivity by a mafia in Libya.
They were duped by travel agents who had lured them with false promises of employment.
On their social media account X (formerly known as Twitter), Indian Embassy in Tunisia said, “The Embassy of India to Libya successfully repatriated 17 Indian Nationals from Punjab and Haryana (on 19 August 2023), who were detained in Libya since February 2023. The Indians safely reached India on 20 August 2023 by Gulf Air flight at 2030 hrs”.
The Embassy of India to Libya successfully repatriated 17 Indian Nationals from Punjab and Haryana (on 19 August 2023), who were detained in Libya since February 2023. The Indians safely reached India on 20 August 2023 by Gulf Air flight at 2030 hrs. pic.twitter.com/gnRysnZaw5
— India in Tunisia (@IndiainTunisia) August 21, 2023