A special flight under India’s ‘Operation Ajay’ carrying at least 143 passengers, including two Nepalese citizens and four infants, departed from Israel’s Tel Aviv on Sunday. It was the sixth flight as part of Operation Ajay launched last week to facilitate the return of Indian nationals after war broke out on October 7.
The departure of the flight was announced by External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on social media platform X. Sources told news agency PTI that the flight is carrying 143 passengers, including two Nepalese citizens and four infants.
At least 18 Nepalese nationals were earlier accommodated on the special flight last Tuesday. So far, five chartered flights from Tel Aviv arrived in Delhi with nearly 1,200 passengers, including children.
The fifth flight arranged by the Indian government to rescue Indian as well as Nepalese nationals landed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in the wee hours on Wednesday. The SpiceJet flight carried 286 passengers.
It was the second SpiceJet flight to be operated under the government’s Operation Ajay. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi shared pictures of the passengers being welcomed at the airport by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L Murugan.
Meanwhile, the bodies of four Nepali students killed in a Hamas attack in Israel have been brought back to Kathmandu, a senior official said on Sunday. At least 10 Nepali students were killed when the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a barrage of rocket attacks in Southern Israel on October 7.
The bodies of the four students were recently handed over to Nepal’s embassy in Tel Aviv by the Israeli government after their identification and completion of legal processes. All four bodies were airlifted on Saturday to Dhangadhi in Western Nepal on a Nepal Army helicopter, according to Nepal Army headquarters sources.
Guidelines for returnees
According to officials, the Embassy has been working round the clock to facilitate all our citizens in Israel who wish to leave. “The travel slots will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis in the ‘Operation Ajay’ and “In the event of a no-show or refusal to travel after confirmation and slotting, your name will be moved to the back of the queue,” the Indian Embassy’s guidelines read.
The passengers are chosen on a “first come first serve” basis after a drive launched by the Indian embassy for all Indians to register at the mission’s database. The government is bearing the cost of their return. The first charter flight from Israel carried 212 people last Thursday. The second batch of 235 Indian nationals was flown back late on Friday. So far, a total of 918 Indian nationals have been flown out of Israel.
(with PTI inputs)