Operation Marham:India rushes aid to Indonesia

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Indian government has begun to send humanitarian aid to the earthquake hit Yogyakarta region of Indonesia. The relief effort, named Operation Marham involves the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy and aims to deliver aid materials to the victims.

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee was away on an official visit to China and Japan - a result of which the Indian response was initially delayed. Mr. Mukherjee, however, on Sunday night asked the Defence Ministry to make preparations to dispatch aid to Indonesia immediately.

On the sea, the naval vessel INS Rajput has been redeployed from the South China Sea to Jakarta. It is expected to reach the Indonesian capital with 7 tons of relief material today. The INS Tabar will leave the port of Chennai, India, today carrying additional aid.

In the air, an I.A.F cargo plane carrying 35 tons of relief material has been sent to Indonesia. Another airforce plane, an IL-76, will fly out from India today carrying a similar quantity of relief material.

Among the supplies India is sending to the victims of the Indonesian earthquake are tents, medical equipment and rice. Military doctors may also be sent to aid the casualties.

The Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh conveyed their condolences to the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

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