New Delhi: Indian students still stranded in Ukraine have denounced the Indian government and Indian diplomats in Kyiv for not coming to their rescue and leaving them in distress in the war-hit country.
A group of students complained in videos put out on the Congress social media handle that some of them had been physically assaulted at the border with Romania by border guards. Much of their ire was directed at the Indian embassy in the Ukraine capital.
“All other foreigners have been evacuated but not us,” complained a young woman. “The Indian government is not doing anything to take us out. Please don’t believe the Indian media.”
She said that while the Indian embassy were merely telling them to leave for Ukraine’s frontiers, it was impossible to do so because they were cornered in a place that was almost 800 km away from the nearest border. She also accused an Indian embassy staffer, who she identified as Vikram Kumar, for repeatedly rejecting their calls made from mobile telephones.
“Instead of giving us guidance, they are completely ignoring us,” the distraught-looking student added. Another student, also a young woman apparently from Odisha, said she and her friends were waiting outside a railway station for one-and-a-half days and they too were devoid of any help from the Indian embassy.
She said there were no shops in the vicinity to provide them food or groceries.
“We have bought tickets after standing in the queue for 12 hours. Now we are not getting immigration clearance to leave… As for the Indian embassy, it is only 8 to 9 km away but they are not replying to our calls. “Ultimately we are not getting any help from the embassy.”
The student, who was joined by another female student, said the only organisation helping them was a “Khalsa” group. Another group of students complained that the main gates of the campus where they were sheltered had been broken down — “we don’t know by who” — and there were fears of shelling.
Launching a scathing attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress said on Wednesday that he was “busy in winning election” and had forgotten the “plight of students” standard in Ukraine. The party alleged that the government has “failed to discharge its responsibility” in bringing back the Indian students and also questioned the role of the Indian embassy in Ukraine.
The party shared some videos of the students standard in various parts of Ukraine. A 21-year-old Indian student from Karnataka has been killed in Russian shelling while standing in a queue for food in Kharkiv on Tuesday. The Congress is also running the hashtag #SpeakUpForOurStudent. “The government has failed to discharge its responsibility. Videos of assault, vandalism with Indian students are common; these videos have frightened every countryman,” it tweeted.
“India is heart broken. The pain and suffering of the students stranded in Ukraine and their parents and families here at home is impossible to watch… “Not only the government, the failure of the Indian embassy has also been exposed by the students.
“How can India forget the pictures of these youths of India who are suffering from hunger and thirst and sleeping helplessly in the metro station in Ukraine?” The Indian government has brought back several students from Ukraine after they crossed the border into neighbouring countries.