Malayalis in Ukraine Cry for Help as Civil Unrest Worsens - The New Indian Express

Malayalis in Ukraine Cry for Help as Civil Unrest Worsens

Published: 03rd June 2014 07:59 AM

Last Updated: 03rd June 2014 07:59 AM

KOTTAYAM: With political unrest escalating in Ukraine, after separatists in Eastern Ukraine intensified their attack on a border command centre near the city of Luhansk, scores of Malayali students stranded in the city have sought the urgent intervention of the Indian Government to ensure their safety. While the Ukrainian authorities have set a deadline of 72 hours for foreigners to leave the country, around 400 Malayali students have fallen in to a grave crisis as there are not enough flights for all of them to leave that country.

Speaking to Express, Rinu R Prasad, an MBBS student in Luhansk who arrived there a couple of days ago, said that the situation had worsened after a bomb exploded in the city on Monday evening.

“As many as 400 Malayali students have been virtually stranded in Luhansk as there are not enough flights for them to return to India. When the crisis escalated, the Ukraine authorities cut short the number of flights. Adding to the woes of the Malayalis, the travel agencies are charging heavily for preponing journeys, as well as for issuing new tickets. Our only demand to the authorities is to take urgent steps to bring the stranded students back to India as the situation has been deteriorating day by day,” he said.

The majority of the Malayali students studying in Ukraine hail from Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam.

Meanwhile, parents of the stranded students have submitted petitions to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and Kottayam MP Jose K Mani, requesting their intervention in the issue.

Rinu said that Jose K Mani had told the parents that he had forwarded their request to the Prime Minister’s office. According to Rinu, as many as 1200 Indian students were studying in the Luhansk State Medical University.

“We need urgent action from the Ukrainian authorities to increase  the number of flights until June 10, so that all of us could get home safely,” he said.

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