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India has launched ‘Operation Indravati’ to evacuate its nationals from Haiti to the Dominican Republic, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated in a post on social media platform X. As part of the ongoing operation, 12 Indians were evacuated on Thursday. Taking to his official X handle, Jaishankar posted, “12 Indians evacuated today. Fully committed to the security and well-being of our nationals abroad.”

“Thank the Government of the Dominican Republic for their support,” he added.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, Randhir Jaiswal, in a weekly press briefing on March 15, said India was ready to evacuate its citizens from Haiti if need be.

“As you know, there is a crisis in Haiti. And if required, we will evacuate. We are ready to evacuate. And if required, we will do that,” Jaiswal stated.

Amid violence and looting in the impoverished Caribbean nation, a control room and an emergency helpline number were opened to evacuate distressed Indian nationals from Haiti.

“We have established a control room here in the Ministry of External Affairs. We have emergency helpline numbers,” Jaiswal added in the press briefing.

On concerns over the safety of Indian nationals in Haiti, Jaiswal said the embassy in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, which holds accreditation for Haiti, was monitoring the situation.

“Our embassy in Santo Domingo is monitoring the situation and the ministry also is fully monitoring the situation,” Jaiswal added at the presser.

Haiti has been under a state of emergency after some armed groups attacked the country’s largest prison in Port-au-Prince earlier this month, killing and injuring police and prison staff and enabling some 3,500 inmates to escape, according to CNN.

A leader of one of these armed groups, Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Cherizier, took credit for the prison break, saying it was part of a plan to overthrow acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s government.

The armed groups now control 80 per cent of Haiti’s capital, according to United Nations estimates, while continuing to fight for the rest. While Henry was out of the country, gangs laid siege to the country’s main airport to prevent his return.

The ongoing chaos has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes, adding to the more than 300,000 already displaced by gang violence.