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Bhubaneswar, April 29 – Six people from Odisha have thanked god and the Indian government after reaching safely here from conflict-torn Sudan under Operation Kaveri.
Landing at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here on Friday, the returnees, natives of Khurda, Balasore, Bhadrak, and Jagatsinghpur districts, narrated their horrifying stories before the media.
They said that they lost all their food, cash and mobile phones as the paramilitary personnel had snatched all this at gunpoint. With the arrangements by the Indian Embassy, they were evacuated on a Indian Navy vessel to Saudi Arabia, and from there, flown back to India.
After reaching Delhi, with the help of the Odisha government, they reached Bhubaneswar, said Pabitra Mohan Pradhan, a returnee from Ganjam district.
Pradhan said he was staying in the conflict-torn Khartoum region which has been severely ravaged by bullets and bombs. “The attack began on April 15. We stayed there till April 24. Had we stayed there for one or two more days, we would have lost our lives,” he said.
Amar Kumar Bal, another returnee said, “The paramilitary personnel have snatched all my savings and mobile phone, they destroyed our Indian canteen in our company. There were explosions all around in front of our company. We were so terrified that we couldn’t sleep for nine days.”
“I have been staying there since 2017. Earlier, there were also conflicts between the army and a paramilitary group. However, those were not as severe as the current one,” he added.
Narrating his horrifying experience, another returnee, Basant Kumar Mishra said that he, along with his company employees, were looted at gunpoint.
“We were held at gunpoint for around nine hours. All our valuables were looted. Somehow, we could save our lives and contact the Indian Embassy in Sudan,” Mishra said.