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No emergency situation here, say Keralites in Qatar

No emergency situation here, say Keralites in Qatar

Thiruvananthapuram: Keralities in Qatar on Tuesday said there is no emergency situation in the country after seven Gulf countries snapped diplomatic ties with it on Monday.

"There is no situation of emergency as such here. The social media is twisting things, and maybe that led to a rush in the supermarkets here," C.V.M. Vanimel, a social activist from Kerala, said, speaking to the media here from Doha.

"The cabinet meeting held yesterday (Monday) made it very clear that there be no reason for any panic as food items will be made available," said Vanimel.

"Given our understanding of things, hectic diplomatic efforts are currently on to ease the situation."

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, the UAE and the Maldives on Monday severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terror groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar, however, denied the allegations.

"The media should not go overboard as it creates a panic," Vanimel said.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have also closed their borders preventing any movement by road, to and from Qatar. Also, their airlines have decided to stop flight operations to Qatar.

Passengers who arrived from Doha at Kochi and Kozhikode airports on Tuesday morning said "as things stand, there are no issues there (in Qatar)". They, however, expressed concern over the operation of flights.

Kerala Local Bodies Minister K.T. Jaleel told the media here on Tuesday that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking for his immediate intervention to see that Indians are taken care of.

"When schools are closed there and if foreign airlines are not operating, there would be problems. Air India should ensure operation of more flights. The already high price of air tickets during summer rush could shoot up even higher," said Jaleel.

With other Middle East airlines stopping their services, Qatar Airways and Air India are operating services to and from three Kerala airports, and if additional flights are not run and present embargo against Qatar is not lifted, things could go haywire, a worried officials said.

The banks and foreign exchange outlets have been directed not to exchange money for Qatari Riyal, said an airline source.

According to a study report, there are around 1.5 lakh Keralites in Qatar.

Around 4.82 million Indians live in the Gulf, including 630,000 in Qatar.

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