New Delhi, March 21, 2020-
A day before all international flights are to be banned into Indian airspace amid the ongoing crisis due to coronavirus outbreak, 100 Indian nationals, returning from the US, have urged the government to rescue them.
They have been stranded at Amsterdam airport after their flight was turned back mid-air two hours away from Delhi airport, said the wife of a passenger stranded.
Tina Sapra, wife of Sanjay Sapra, has written to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri pleading to help her husband and other stranded at the Amsterdam airport.
Speaking to IANS Tina said: “My husband is among 100 others passengers in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where they have been stranded. They were turned back mid-air when the flight was just two-hours away from the Delhi airport.
“All these passengers, which include pregnant women and senior citizens, are Indian passport holders.” She urged the Indian government to arrange a special flight to bring home all passengers.
Detailing on the ordeal faced by her husband and other co-passengers, Tina said the outbound flight from Chicago with thoroughfare to India was booked within advisory period, but the flight from Amsterdam to Delhi was re-directed.
She added the officials at the Delhi airport allegedly suspected the origin of this flight was from Europe.
“This has led to an emotional turmoil, confusion, stress and undue personal hardship. There is no helpline or senior official to address our grievance.
“As Indian nationals, we request a response and plan to fix this situation. Time is not on our side with the outbreak getting worse and national boundaries tightening,” added Tina.
Tina insisted the passengers are stuck in Amsterdam airport and leaving the airport would lead to succumbing to the pervasive virus and exposing oneself to health hazard away from home.
Tina in a letter to Suri said: “I seek your and the Indian government’s intervention to ensure I get my husband and the other family members get their respective relatives who have been impacted due to this mass confusion and leaving these passengers stranded in Amsterdam on account of Indian government confusing advisories that have impacted travel and movement of transit passengers not originating from Europe.” (Agency)