NEW DELHI: There have been growing distress calls from Indian students stuck at the Ukraine-Poland border. They are claiming that they were ‘manhandled’ and ‘ill-treated’ by the Ukrainian security personnel, allegedly because India did not condemn the Russian invasion at the UN Security Council. Many of these students, who were stuck for over 72 hours in freezing cold, alleged that they were kicked, beaten up, dragged and some even had their phones snatched from them.
According to Sandeep Kaur, the Ukrainians were earlier allowing some students to cross the border but later stopped them from entering Poland. “I was waiting along with my brother and some of our friends in a group. First, the officials asked us to stand in a line and we did. Later, they asked the girls to make a separate line... They then let me cross the border while my brother waited on the other side. When my brother said that he too is in the queue, they dragged and beat him up with a baton,” Kaur told The Morning Standard.
The student rued that there were none from the Indian Embassy to coordinate with the Ukrainian authorities at the Poland border. “After we crossed the Poland border, we met Indian embassy officials but there were none on the Ukrainian side. Boys on the Ukrainian side have been manhandled badly. Now, my brother is returning to his college hostel along with his friends as the situation has worsened.” When contacted regarding the incidents, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi declined to comment.
According to Monisha Kalburgi, a student of Lviv National Medical University, some of her friends had to return from the Poland border. Ukrainian personnel are unhappy that India favoured Russia, she claimed, adding that this was the reason for the ill-treatment meted to them.
“We left at 4 am in the morning from Ternopil. The Indian Embassy had informed us that the Poland border is open and we can leave, but at the border, we were stopped by the Ukrainian Army. The temperature is three degrees. People are falling sick. When we called the Polish embassy, they asked us to call the Kyiv Embassy, which told us to coordinate with the Polish Embassy,” another student said, preferring anonymity.