Kochi | Despite worsening situation in strife torn Libya, eight Keralite nurses left early today from here for Benghazi, not paying heed to pleas of police and NORKA (Non Resident Keralite Affairs) department about the dangers lurking there.
The nurses include a couple. A child is also travelling with the batch, police said.
Ernakulam Rural SP Sateesh Bino said the nurses left for Libya in the wee hours today from nearby Nedumbassery airport.
We had talked to them about the situation in Libya and asked them not to leave. The nurses were also served a written notice, he said. However, the nurses said they had been working there for nearly 13 years and had left their certificates and other documents there and had no option but to go back.
The nine, who left this morning for Doha en route to Benghazi, had proper visas, he said.
The Indian Embassy in Libya had recently written to NORKA (Non Resident Keralite Affairs) department stating that a travel agency at Koothatukulam in Ernakulam district was planning to send 200 nurses on tourist visas to Libya from Kerala and had asked state authorities not to allow them to come to Libya, NORKA CEO P Sudeep said.
NORKA Minister K C Joseph, was informed and he held discussions with State Home minister, Ramesh Chennithala, who appointed a committee headed by IG Ernakulam range, M R Ajit Kumar, to conduct an inquiry and prevent any movement of nurses to Libya. The nurses are not fresh recruits. Last night itself, notices were issued to the nurses asking them not to leave for Libya. Based on the NORKA letter, police spoke to the nurses on the situation in that country. However, they were not convinced and were adamant on leaving, police said. Only last week, at least 58 Keralite nurses had returned from Libya through Kozhikode airport.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said state will not permit recuritment of nurses to Libya from Kerala.
Police and other authorities have been issued necessary directions in this regard, he told reporters.
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