New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday came down heavily on Congress leader Siddaramaiah after he claimed that 31 people from Karnataka are stranded in violence-hit Sudan. Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the country’s army and a paramilitary group for the last five days that has reportedly left around 100 people dead.
“Simply appalled at your tweet! There are lives at stake; don’t do politics. Since the fighting started on April 14th, the Embassy of India in Khartoum has been continuously in touch with most Indian Nationals and PIOs in Sudan,” Jaishankar tweeted. “Their details and locations cannot be made public for security reasons. Their movement is constrained by fierce fighting that is ongoing,” he added.
Simply appalled at your tweet! There are lives at stake; don’t do politics.
Since the fighting started on April 14th, the Embassy of India in Khartoum has been continuously in touch with most Indian Nationals and PIOs in Sudan. https://t.co/MawnIwStQp
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) April 18, 2023
Jaishankar said plans regarding them have to take into account a “very complicated” security scenario and that the Indian embassy in Sudan is in constant touch with the Ministry of External Affairs over the situation in that country.
“It is grossly irresponsible of you to politicize their situation. No electoral goal justifies endangering Indians abroad,” he said. Jaishankar’s reaction came after Siddaramaiah posted a series of tweets saying “It is reported that 31 people from Karnataka belonging to Hakki Pikki tribe, are stranded in Sudan which is troubled by civil war.”
The former Karnataka chief minister urged the Prime Minister’s Office, the Union Home Minister’s Office and the Ministry of External Affairs to “immediately intervene” and ensure the safe return of the Indians.
Assembly elections in Karnataka are due next month. On Monday, the Indian embassy in Sudan issued a fresh advisory urging Indians not to venture out of their residences and stay calm.
The embassy, on Sunday, said an Indian national died in Khartoum after sustaining bullet injuries. The Ministry of External Affairs has already set up a 24×7 control room to provide information and assistance in view of the current situation in Sudan.
Sudan’s military captured power in a coup in October 2021 and it has been running the country through a sovereign council since then. There has been a dispute between the Army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over a proposed timeline for handing over power to a civilian government.