Saving a stranded soldier

Indian High Commission in Nairobi rescues army man

Diaspora

April 11, 2020

/ By / Mumbai

The Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi: Kenya has banned entry of foreign nationals since March 15

Rescue flights to bring back Indian nationals stuck overseas due to coronavirus pandemic have been well-reported. Here is the story of how a timely intervention saved an Indian soldier.

On March 22, as Bhupinder Singh, a soldier of the Indian Army, posted at an UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, boarded the Kenyan Airways Flight number KQ 352, little did he know that he would be stranded for weeks in a foreign land. Singh had just finished his leave and was on his way from India, via Nairobi, to Juba, the capital of South Sudan, to join his unit at the UN mission. Just as his aircraft had begun the descent to Juba, the government decided to impose a strict lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and closed the airport. As a result, the aircraft was asked to turn around and fly back to Nairobi.

So, without any other incident, the flight KQ 352 landed back in Nairobi. But Singh’s travails did not end there. As soon as he landed in Nairobi, the Kenyan government too banned him from leaving the airport as by then the government had also put a ban on the entry of foreigners into the country. Stuck in a foreign land where he did not know anyone, Singh was lost. That is when the Indian High Commission in Kenya stepped in to rescue the stranded soldier.

“After receiving the information, the mission took up this case with the Kenyan government and he was allowed to enter into Kenya. He was placed under quarantine at Hotel Crown Plaza in Nairobi for the initial period of 14 days. Subsequently, as per government’s latest instruction, the stay has been extended,” Rahul Chhabra, the High Commissioner of India to Kenya, tells Media India Group.

“There are a few other cases of Indian nationals who were also stranded in Kenya following the lockdown. However, we are in regular touch with them and provide the necessary aid and assistance, if required,’’ he adds.

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1 COMMENTS

  1. Avatar grolyrto lemcs says:

    Some genuinely interesting information, well written and broadly speaking user friendly.

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