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Gulf diplomatic crisis: Malayalis in Qatar deny emergency situation in the country

Thiruvananthapuram: Malayalis in Qatar on Tuesday said there is no emergency situation in the country after seven Gulf countries cut diplomatic ties with Doha 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," CVM Vanimel, a social activist from Kerala, said, speaking to the media from Doha.

"The cabinet meeting held on Monday made it very clear that there is 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 United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Maldives on Monday severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terror groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar, however, denied the allegations.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

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

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the 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". They, however, expressed concern over the operation of flights.

Kerala local bodies minister KT 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 the 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 official said.

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

Around 4.82 million Indians live in the Gulf, including 6,30,000 in Qatar.

Published Date: Jun 06, 2017 14:20 PM | Updated Date: Jun 06, 2017 14:20 PM