More than 170 students seek evacuation from Ukraine
Syed Rizwan Geelani
Srinagar: Fear has gripped the Kashmiri students studying in different universities and colleges of Ukraine after Russia announced military operations.
As many as 170 Kashmiri students are reportedly stuck in the country and are seeking immediate evacuation owing to the prevailing situation in Ukraine. The students have also urged the J&K administration to take up the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to evacuate them to their homes.
Some of the students stuck in Ukraine also posted their appeal to the concerned authorities by posting their videos on social media.
“There is no sign of war until now. War is still far away but we don’t know how far it is going to be. So we request the concerned authorities in India, Ministry of External Affairs to evacuate students to safeguard their lives,” Uzair Hamid, a Kashmiri student studying in Ukraine, said in his video message.
Another student in his video message asked people back home in Kashmir, “not to panic as the situation was peaceful as of now.”
“So far we are safe here and we have been taking normal classes for the last two weeks. But classes were closed today at our University as some blast sounds were heard,” the Kashmiri student in his video message said.
He said students from other parts of India have left for their homes while some were still in Ukraine. “But as of now we are all safe,” he said.
However students stuck in other parts of Ukraine said the situation was tense for the last few days.
“We are restless as nobody knows what will happen in the next few days. There is an atmosphere of fear and war like situation all over,” another Kashmiri student said.
The students are currently staying in the hostel but most of them have kept their bags packed owing to the prevailing uncertain situation in Ukraine.
“The officials of the university advised us to shift to the basement of the university. Situation here is very scary as Russia is capturing government buildings and we also study in a government university here,” said Adnan, a Kashmiri student.
While the students are praying for their safety, the airline companies, according to students, have hiked their airfare amid the uncertain situation.
“Earlier the airfare from Ukraine to India was around Rs 30,000 to Rs 40, 000 which has now been hiked to Rs 70,000. We are frightened as the airport is also under attack and no one can dare to travel towards it,” he said. The students have also approached the J&K students Association (JKSA) and sought their help for evacuation.
National spokesperson JKSA, Nasir Khuehami told Greater Kashmir that they were informed that around 170 students were stuck in Ukraine and contact details of 40 students were traced and submitted to the J&K administration. “We submitted the contact number of 40 students to J&K Raj Bhawan and sought their evacuation,” Khuehami said.
He said they have already asked the Kashmiri students stuck in Ukraine to register their names on [email protected] and on helpline numbers: 9149676014, 7906348764, 8825005327 and 7006228608.
The association has also urged the Union External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar to take immediate measures and make special arrangements for the safe and secure evacuation of J&K students stranded in war-hit Ukraine as tensions over a possible Russian invasion mounted.
“These stranded students want to return back home at an earliest. Their families are deeply concerned and worried about their safety,” Khuehami said.
When contacted, Advisor to J&K Lieutenant Governor Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar said the Government of India is already taking up the matter of all Indian students which will include Kashmiri students as well.
Meawhile, parents of those students who are presently stuck in Ukraine have demanded that authorities should take concrete and immediate steps for their safe return to home.
Abdul Hamid Bhat, whose ward is studying in Ukraine told Greater Kashmir that his family is very anxious about the present situation of Ukraine.
“My son is pursuing MBBS from Sumy State Medical College. He was enrolled there in 2016 and hopefully this year he would complete the degree but the given situation is making us very anxious. We don’t know whether he will be able to complete his degree or not,” Bhat said.
“As of now we don’t think about his degree, we want his safe return to home with all other students stuck there,” an anxious Hamid said. Another student Faisal Showkat is also pursuing MBBS from the same medical college. His father told Greater Kashmir that it was his third year in the college.
We are really apprehensive about the well-being of our children. We demand that the Foreign Ministry should take immediate steps to bring all 180 Kashmiri students back,” he added. The parents said that they were in constant touch with their children. Although they have been shifted to safer places, the grim situation in Ukraine was giving the parents tough times back home.
A student from Parat village of Mendhar sub division of Poonch district studying in Ukraine is stuck in the troublesome country after Russias’ invasion. The student Nazim Choudhary son of Muhammad Aziz Choudhary is a resident of village Prat Mendhar.
His mother, Shamim Choudhary serving in Government Post Graduate College Rajouri said that her son is in Laviv city of Ukraine where he is pursuing his course for MBBS.
“He alongwith other children from parts of Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of country are stuck there and are presently in hostel.” she said.
Shamim Choudhary further said that although the students are safe there in hostel but “things are not good in Ukraine and Government of India should take steps for immediate evacuation of these students.”
( WITH INPUTS FROM TARIQUE RAHEEM IN KUPWARA,
SUMIT BHARGAV IN RAJOURI)
Source: Greater Kashmir