Kuwait Airlift to Operation Ajay: Major Evacuation Missions to Rescue Indians

From Kuwait Airlift in 1990 to Operation Ajay in 2023: Major Evacuation Missions Conducted to Rescue Indians

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As Operation Ajay successfully welcomes the first batch of 212 Indians stranded amid the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, we take a look at the major rescue operations conducted by India in the past.

The below infographic tells the number of Indians rescued in the past evacuation operations.


From 1990’s Kuwait Airlift mission where over 170,000 Indians were brought back home to aiding other countries' nationals to evacuate from catastrophic earthquake in Turkey through Operation Dost in February 2023, India has conducted several evacuation operations.

Kuwait Airlift (1990)

Kuwait Airlift was conducted to rescue Indians stranded after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The operation, that brought over 170,000 Indians home, was conducted from August to October 1990.

Operation Sukoon (2006)

This mission repatriated about 1,800 Indians from Lebanon, after tensions escalated between Israel and Lebanon in 2006.

Operation Safe Homecoming (2011)

Conducted on parallel-basis via air and sea mode, this evacuation mission brought around 16,000 Indians back home from the crisis in Libya.

Indians Evacuated from Egypt (2011)

After the turmoil in Egypt in early 2011, around 670 Indians were flown on special flights from Cairo to Delhi. This included Indian citizens living in Egypt, as well as tourists stranded there.


Operation Raahat (2015)

After the conflict raged between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels in 2015, India conducted Operation Raahat to evacuate about 4,500 citizens from Yemen.

Operation Maitri (2015)

This was conducted in the earthquake-hit Nepal in 2015. According to the Ministry of Defence, the Indian Air Force and the Army flew 2223 sorties, rescued/evacuated about 11,200 people (including 780 casualties) to safer places and transported and dropped about 1700 tonnes of relief materials under this mission.

Operation Sankat Mochan (2016)

About 150 Indians were rescued under this mission after the 2016 conflict in South Sudan.

Vandhe Bharat Mission (2020)

After the Coronavirus pandemic hit the globe in 2020, Vande Bharat mission repatriated Indian nationals under multiple phases.

Operation Ganga (2022)

Around 18000 Indians, mostly students, who were stuck in neighboring countries at the onset of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, were brought back under this mission. A total of 90 evacuation flights were operated in this operation.

Operation Devi Shakti (2021)

After Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 2021, India conducted Operation Devi Shakti, that facilitated the evacuation flight of about 450 Indians and several other foreign nationals.

Operation Kaveri (2023)

After the conflict broke out between military groups in Sudan, around 3,900 stranded Indians were brought back home under this mission.

Operation Ajay (2023)

When the conflict broke out between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, Indian government initiated a Operation Ajay to bring back Indians to evacuate Indian citizens from Israel.

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Topics:  Israel-Palestine 

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