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Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today thanked the Narendra Modi government for ensuring the return of the Indian nurses from strife-hit Iraq with their safe evacuation capping days of anxiety for the state as it waited for a resolution to the crisis.
A visibly relieved Chandy expressed his gratitude for the Centre, especially External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, for bringing the matter to a happy conclusion.
"The Centre has acted in complete understanding of the deep anxieties of Kerala. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Iraq have made sincere efforts in securing the release of the nurses," Chandy told reporters here this morning.
Even his political rivals at home admitted that persistent efforts by Chandy, who had camped in Delhi for the last two days, saw the Centre making all out efforts to secure the return from Iraq of the 46 nurses, one of whom hails from Tamil Nadu.
The nurses remained trapped in a hospital in Iraq's Tikrit for several days after the area came under the control of the militants of ISIS.
Voicing relief over the return of the nurses, CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan acknowledged the efforts of the Centre and the state government in the matter.
A special Air India flight carrying the 46 Indian nurses and 137 others released by ISIS arrived this morning in Mumbai, from where it is headed to Kochi.