Centre failed to react in time, says Ramoowalia


Staff member
Jalandhar March 3:

A large number of people said here that while their close relations were desperately awaiting evacuation from a trouble-torn Libya, the Union Government had brought back influential and rich people by air from that country.

Accompanied by the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) chief Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, parents of “trapped” Punjabis said that they had been receiving desperate calls on the phone from their relations in Libya to urge the Union Government to make quick arrangements to evacuate them.

Ramoowalia said of the 18,000 Indians trapped in Libya, about 4,000 were Punjabis. He condemned the Union Government for its failure to react in time to the emerging violent situation in Libya. He said the Union Government had set up neither any control room in the state nor at the national level for passing on any information regarding those trapped in Libya. The government had initiated no other steps to console the worried parents.

He said some travel agents had also not returned the passports of the Punjabis engaged by some private companies in Libya. The LBP leader said that while America evacuated all its citizens in 48 hours, China evacuated its about 27,000 citizens by February 27 from Libya. But India had brought back by air only 1,134 persons, who were rich and well connected.

Ramoowalia said it was unfortunate that Punjab-based MPs did not raise the issue of trapped Punjabis in the Lok Sabha. “All of them should have forcefully raised their voice in support of the trapped Punjabis and should have made the Union Government to continue sending aircraft to Libya until all Indians were evacuated. I would request them to take up the issue in Parliament,” said Ramoowalia.