Exclusive: Indian hitchhiker in Sudan shows live bombing to The New Indian

Indian traveller says food prices have skyrocketed and water is selling like gold.

| Updated: 25 April, 2023 12:58 pm IST

New Delhi: In the midst of political turmoil in Sudan, a young Indian hitchhiker has shocked many by streaming live footage of bombings in capital Khartoum exclusively to The New Indian Assistant Editor, Urvashi Khona.

Maheen S, the 22-year-old traveller from Kerala, reached the Sudanese capital three days before the fighting broke out between Sudan’s regular army and a powerful paramilitary force earlier this month.

Wearing a helmet, Maheen frequently changed his location from bunker to bunker to bring forth the plight of fellow compatriots struggling with uncertainty as they beseech for help and rescue from the conflict zone.

As the young man climbed to the top of a building to show plumes of smoke billowing from a nearby locality amid thunderous noises, Maheen said, “Sound of gunshots is almost a regular thing here though airstrikes and bombing raids begin and end within five minutes.”

Smoke billowing from a neighbourhood in capital Khartoum as the fighting continues. (TNI photo)


The traveller, who reached Khartoum from neighbouring Egypt, also showed the devastating effects of the bombings on the capital city. He was hiding in a building just 2.5 km away from the airport – one of the main centres of the battle between the Sudan army and the Rapid Support Forces.

Narrating his horrific experience, Maheen said that he was lucky enough to escape being shot dead by an armed soldier during the first few days of his stay. “I hid in bushes for my safety. And when I sensed I had the opportunity to escape the scene, I saw a soldier pointing his gun towards me from 100 meters away. I ran for my life and luckily survived,” he told The New Indian.

He also said that the capital was struggling with scarcity of food, water and electricity. “For a few days in the beginning of the conflict, there was no water or electricity supply. Supplies were restored on Eid, but it still is scarce. Food prices have skyrocketed and supermarkets are closed. Water is as expensive as gold so I survived on packaged beverages for a few days,” he said, adding that he had been surviving on economical food options like packed noodles and pasta.

Thousands of Sudanese have fled the fighting in Sudan. (TNI photo)


Maheen pleaded with the Indian government to rescue him and thousands of other Indians stuck in different parts of Sudan since the conflict for control over power began. He also revealed that a WhatsApp group had been created by the Indian embassy to keep Indians in Sudan informed.

“I know many Indians in the capital Khartoum struggling for food and water. I hope that the government will do something soon,” he said.

Last week, Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramiah was the first to criticize the Modi government for not providing help to Indians stuck in the conflict zone.

On Monday, the government announced Operation Kaveri to evacuate Indian nations from Sudan. Minister of state for external affairs, V Muraleedharan has been sent to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to coordinate the rescue efforts.

India has stationed two Super Hercules C-130J aircraft in Jeddah, across the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, to evacuate its citizens.

Also Read Story

Coromandel Express wrongly entered goods train track: Report

Nitish Kumar’s gift to society now threatens PM Modi, HM Shah

233 dead, 900 injured in devastating three-train collision in Odisha’s Balasore

HOW IT HAPPENED: Balasore train accident explained