Over 26,000 stranded abroad await repatriation to TN, Centre tells HC
As many as 26,368 out of the 40,433 Indian nationals, who had sent requests to travel from abroad to Tamil Nadu, were yet to be brought back under the Vande Bharat Mission, the Centre informed the Madras High Court on Friday.
This was in response to a plea moved by the principal opposition party, DMK, which sought to bring back Tamils stranded in foreign countries like Singapore, Malaysia and UK by flight.
A division bench comprising Justice R Subbiah and Justice Krishnan Ramasamy, before whom the submission was made regarding 14,065 Tamils having returned to India, directed the Centre to inform the court as to when all the remaining stranded persons would be brought to Tamil Nadu. It also sought details of its plan in providing more flights to Tamil Nadu under the Vande Bharat Mission and posted the plea to June 23 for further hearing.
Also, accounting for Additional Advocate General SR Rajagopal’s submission that the State had no objection to operate any number of flights under the Mission and the contention of senior counsel P Wilson appearing for the DMK that the status report merely revealed the number of Indians stranded but nothing has been said about the other directions issued by the court on June 12, the bench directed the Centre to comply with the same.
Earlier, besides seeking details of the stranded Indians, the division bench led by Justice Vineet Kothari had directed the Centre to submit details of the plans to provide more such flights in near future for stranded people and relief details in the form of financial help, ticket costs, food, stay, etc., provided to them.
Wilson also reiterated in his submission that many Tamils were stranded abroad for want of consent from State government for landing flights operated by the Centre under the Vande Bharat Mission.
These flights are cheaper and affordable for the stranded people to return to Tamil Nadu, he added, pointing out that the State government’s status report dealt merely with chartered flights and not about Vande Bharat Mission flights.