Told to hide in underground metro stations, say Karnataka students

“We can hear the sounds of bombs exploding from our hostel, it’s terrible and scary. We were told to run to the nearest underground metro station if we hear any warning sirens.
Indian students, who came back from Ukraine amid the crisis in the country. Image used for representational purpose only.  (Photo| Shekhar Yadav, EPS)
Indian students, who came back from Ukraine amid the crisis in the country. Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo| Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

BENGALURU: “We can hear the sounds of bombs exploding from our hostel, it’s terrible and scary. We were told to run to the nearest underground metro station if we hear any warning sirens. Staying underground is safer and the nearest place for us to seek shelter is some 200 metres away from the hostel,” a nervy Kiran Savadi, studying his first-year medicine at the Kharkiv National Medical University, Kharkiv in Ukraine, told TNIE.

Kiran, who hails from Banahatti in Bagalkot district, landed in Ukraine in December last year. “Initially, everything was good. In fact, we were attending college till Wednesday. On Thursday morning, we were jolted from sleep around 5 am to the sounds of the bombing.

More than 30 students are from Karnataka in our hostel and many of them had booked flight on February 24, 26 and 27. But those who went to the airport on Thursday (Feb 24), had to return. We are getting messages frequently from the Indian embassy and other authorities not to step out,” he said.

Parents hope for help from govt

“If there is any warning siren, we have been told to hide in an underground metro station which is close to our hostel,’’ Kiran said. Likhitha L Gowda, who hails from Bengaluru, is stuck there too.

“It’s just three metro stops from our hostel to the college. We can see only soldiers on the roads. There are long queues at supermarkets and ATMs, while banks are closed. It took us over 1.5 hour to get groceries,’’ she said.

Back home, parents of students stuck there are worried. Divyashree, whose daughter Suhani is studying medicine at Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, said, “She was supposed take a flight at 3.30 pm. But, on Thursday morning, they heard some commotion and left the hostel by 7.30 am. When they reached the airport, everything was shut. They were told that there are no flights. We urge the Centre to bring them back India. We are hoping for some help from them,” she added.

Nodal officer appointed
Senior IFS Officer Manoj Rajan has been appointed nodal officer to facilitate safe return of stranded people from Karnataka to their respective places. He will oversee the 24/7 Helpline (080-1070, 080-22340676) and email ids (manoarya @gmail.com, revenuedmkar @gmail.com)

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