Malaysia airlifts 180 citizens stranded in AmritsarUpdated: Mar 31, 2020 00:44 IST
About 180 Malaysians who were stranded in the Holy City after India banned international flights following the Covid-19 outbreak flew back home in a special Malindo Air aircraft from the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport here on Monday.
All were of Indian origin and had come to Amritsar to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple. They also visited their native villages in Punjab, besides other tourist destinations across the country.
Delighted to be returning to their country, many of them chanted “Sat Sri Akal” while leaving their hotel for the airport to thank God for the efforts to rescue them. They also had a word of praise for Baldev Singh, a prominent Indian settled in Malaysia, who runs Sri Saheb Production House there, for tying up with the government there to arrange for the flight.
Airport director Manoj Chansoria said the flight took off at 2.40pm on Monday for Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
60-year-old Malaysian tourist Gurbachan Singh said: “We landed in Amritsar on March 7 and were scheduled to return on March 21, but our flight was cancelled. Punjab Police, civil administration and local Sikh institutions helped us a lot.”
“This is my first visit to India. Though I am Malaysia-born, my roots are in Punjab. We have no words to express our happiness. First we got an opportunity to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple. Now, we are returning to home where we will be able to put ourselves under self-quarantine,” said Jatinder Singh, a 25-year-old youth.