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May 16, 2012

Govt determined to facilitate return of Indians stranded in Angola: MEA

     New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said the government is determined to facilitate return of Indian workers stranded in Angola . "As far as those workers are concerned, that should any of them want to comeback to India, the Embassy would be willing to provide them emergency certificates; so, to travel out of Angola, for any of them is not an issue. Also, I have seen reports that, some of them are starving and there is no truth in those reports, they are being provided food," said MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin. "So, there is no starvation, out there. Of course, they are in a difficult situation, and we are trying to work out with authorities on this. Right now, one of our embassy officials is in Sumbe, trying to work out with the company officials there," he added. Reportedly, 1,200 Indians working at a cement plant in Angola were stuck in the southern African country consequent to the non-payment of their dues. As for the absence of passports, Akbaruddin said that this was bound to upset the workers but assured that visas would facilitate their safe passage back home. He also said that one worker injured in the protest against the management of the cement plant is being treated in a local hospital. "The passports are not available with them that gives them a feeling of insecurity and that is understandable, But the visa issue is peripheral to this and let us not focus on that, there are other much more fundamental issues about their payments about some of them wanting to return, willing and trying to return and also obviously I understand one of them is injured because of the violent clashes there. He is being treated in the hospital," said Akbaruddin. " Some of them are missing because in that police confrontation, with the police and the management, some of them perhaps left the premises. Our hope is to try and work out with the company, to try and resolve the issue amicably and assist our nationals wherever they are in distress," he added. Akbaruddin further mentioned about the air mishap in Nepal on Monday that claimed 15 lives of whom 13 were Indians. He said that the government had ensured the return of all 13 bodies of the Indians killed in the crash among whom two were identified today. "Of the thirteen Indians, who were involved in the tragic air crash in Nepal , the bodies of eleven have reached India ; these are to Mumbai, to Hyderabad and to Delhi . Eleven of these bodies have comeback. Two have been, this morning been identified by their relatives and we are making arrangements for the return those two also," he said. The Dornier aircraft owned by private Agni Air Company was ferrying 18 passengers and a crew of three on a flight from the resort town of Pokhara to Jomsom when it crashed while landing at the mountain airstrip.
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