International airport in Kerala Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: The Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), a community group in Dubai, has filed a petition at the High Court of the south Indian state of Kerala seeking flight services for repatriating stranded Indians in the UAE.

Licensed by the Community Development Authority in Dubai, KMCC said it has sought exemptions in the travel restrictions during the COVID-19 lockdown period in India to help stranded Indians in the UAE to return home.

A writ petition in this regard has been filed by KMCC Dubai president Ebrahim Elettil through advocates Haris Beeran and Mohammad Shafi, a statement from the community organisation said.

It claimed the move comes after the Indian government refused permission to chartered flight services even though some airlines were ready to operate special flights in this regard.

The petition has sought the court’s directive to Indian ministries concerned to ensure the safe return of Indians stuck here by following the quarantine measures prescribed by the World Health Organisation when they reach India.

The petition has requested action as per Article 226 of the Indian Constitution to ensure the fundamental rights of the Indian citizens.

It cited the repatriation service required by several Indians who came here on visit visas and do not have any means of livelihood, parents and children split between the two countries due to the travel restrictions, pregnant women seeking health services in India and people who need to support their ailing family members back home. etc

The petition pointed out that 405 Indians were flown home from Malaysia even after travel restrictions to that country were announced. It added that Air India had organised special flights to repatriate Canadian and German citizens to their home countries.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Youth League in Kerala has launched a mass petition to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in ensuring support for overseas Indians stranded across the world.

“They are going through a more challenging situation than we can presume. It is imperative that the India government addresses their concerns and anxieties immediately. To help them in their startling situation, we would like to propose some measures and we request your urgent intervention in their matters,” the petition stated.

The matters listed include making necessary arrangements for the return of Indians stuck abroad due to COVID-19, and other measures to ensure the safety of Indian citizens abroad.