A total of 687 Indians stranded in Iran were brought to VO Chidambaranar Port in Tuticorin on Wednesday by Indian Navy Ship Jalashwa, a defence official said.

Under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ of the government, ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ is part of repatriation of Indian citizens from overseas who are stranded  across the world in the due to cancellation of flights amid the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

The evacuees were screened by the port health officials on deboarding and their luggage sanitised.

Earlier, it was reported that INS Jalashwa had reached Bandar Abbas on June 23 and the embarkation of the Indian nationals was to commence on June 24.

On 5th of May 2020, Indian Navy had launched its Operation “Samudra Setu” – meaning “Sea Bridge”, as a part of national effort to repatriate stranded Indian citizens from overseas. Indian Naval Ships INS Jalashwa and Magar were tasked, and further sailed off for the port of Malè, Republic of Maldives and commenced the evacuation operations from 08 May 2020 in phases.

On a war footing stride, The Indian Navy made suitable preparations to undertake these evacuations by sea. These operations are being progressed in close coordination with the Ministry of Defence, External Affairs, Home Affairs, Health and various other agencies of the Government of India and State governments. The Indian Navy has carried out similar Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) from overseas on earlier occasions, as part of Op-Sukoon (2006) and Op-Rahat (2015).