The 40 year old German national, Edgard Ziebat spent the past 54 days living in the transit area of the Indian capital’s airport, trapped between India’s coronavirus restrictions and the fear of prosecution at home.
“A German man was heading from Hanoi to Istanbul via Delhi on March 18th. Since India suspended flight operations to and from Turkey on March 18th, he got stranded at the Delhi airport’s Terminal 3,” an official said.
Since he has a criminal record in Germany, he does not want to go there, the officials said.
He also did not apply for an Indian visa, which he would not have received anyway because of his possible criminal activities, the official said, adding that the man wanted to travel on from Turkey to Saudi Arabia.
German authorities were in contact with those in India regarding the man’s case, the official said, but they have declined to say anything about his possible criminal past.
During the weeks spent at the airport, food and other amenities were being provided by the airport officials to him since March 18th.
The ministry of civil aviation as well as the German Embassy has been informed,” the official said. He lived in the transit area and spent his time mostly on the internet, on the phone with family and friends or reading magazines and newspapers.
The spokesperson for the Delhi airport operator DIAL said: “We confirm that a foreign national is currently in the transit area of the international terminal of the Delhi airport due to non-availability of regular flight to transit onwards.”
Indira Gandhi Airport is all but shut down, saved for cargo flights and the rare passenger flight that brings in Indians who had been stranded overseas and are being brought home as part of a government repatriation program.
However, the man was finally set off for Europe on Tuesday morning on a KLM plane on a repatriation flight headed for Amsterdam, according to the official.