Answer by Prashanth Laxman:
Holding an Indian passport in Yemen had more value that holding an American passport.
America remained almost oblivious and did nothing to protect its citizens in Yemen when there is continuing fighting between the Shia Houthi rebels and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of 10 nations. Furthermore, Jamal al-Labani, a 45-year-old US citizen had hoped to bring his pregnant wife and 2-year-daughter back to the United States from war-torn Yemen. The 45-year-old al-Labani was on his way back from mosque prayers when he was hit in the back by shrapnel from a mortar shell. He died minutes later.
The picture of the US citizen and his two-year-old daughter.
This is US State Department travel advisory:
The level of instability and ongoing threats in Yemen remain severe. There are no plans for a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of U.S. citizens at this time. We encourage all U.S. citizens to shelter in a secure location until they are able to depart safely. U.S. citizens wishing to depart should do so via commercial transportation options when they become available. Keep vital records and travel documents close at hand; U.S. citizens should be prepared to depart at a moment’s notice. The airports are currently closed, but may open unexpectedly; other unforeseen opportunities to depart may also suddenly arise. Additionally, some foreign governments may arrange transportation for their nationals and may be willing to offer assistance to others. There is no guarantee that foreign governments will assist U.S. citizens in leaving Yemen. U.S. citizens who choose to seek foreign government assistance in leaving Yemen should only do so if they can safely make their way to the point of embarkation and have received confirmation that there is space available. Even if assured there is space aboard transportation, U.S. citizens should be aware that there is no guarantee that they will be permitted to board the transport, or may have to wait an indefinite period until they can do so. There is also no guarantee of where travelers will go.
India on the other hand had a challenging task. There were over 3000 Indian citizens more than the number of US citizens in Yemen. PM Narendra Modi personally spoke to Saudi King Salman, New Delhi was allowed a 3-4 hour window during which its planes flew into Yemeni airspace to pick up evacuees from Sana. Ex Army General VK Singh personally went to Yemen to oversee the operation.
Courtesy: Zee media
Moreover, Kerala Government is giving Rs.2000/- to each passenger arriving in Kochi. Maharashtra Government is giving Rs.3,000/- to each passenger arriving in Mumbai. Indian Railways are providing all hospitality and confirmed tickets free of charge for onward journey to their home
Courtesy: The Economic Times
Operation code named, haven’t gone unnoticed. As on April 6, 23 countries have requested Indian assistance in evacuating their citizens in Yemen.
Some of the Indian nationals’ passports were held by their employers. Indian embassy intervened and got back their passport as well.
Read more at: