BENGALURU: The first batch of students from Karnataka who were stranded in Ukraine returned to India on Saturday night. A senior government official said 12 from Karnataka were among those who arrived in Mumbai through Romania. Another five are expected to arrive in Delhi on Sunday morning. Manoj Rajan, Commissioner, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) who has been appointed nodal officer to facilitate the safe return of stranded people and students from Karnataka in Ukraine to their respective places, said that arrangements are being made to help the students who have landed in Mumbai to take the earliest available flight to Bengaluru. From Bengaluru, they will head to their hometowns.
Mohammed Abid Ali from Davanagere, who was in the first batch of evacuees from Chernstvi in Ukraine, said 12 students, including him, reached Mumbai on Saturday night.Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said diplomatic efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have succeeded. “The PM’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin are showing results. All Indians and Kannadigas will be brought home safely,” he added.
He said External Affairs Minister Jaishankar has spoken to neighbouring countries of Ukraine and deputed representatives who can speak Russian to facilitate the smooth passage of Indians through these countries. There is a scope to bring these stranded Indians by road through the western region of Ukraine. The process has already started, he added.
The government is assisting students from Karnataka who are arriving from Ukraine and is making arrangements to reach them home in different parts of the state. The principal resident commissioner in New Delhi has been instructed to make arrangements for food and accommodation of these students.
“After I spoke to Jaishankar, we sent the list of our students to him. Many students are arriving through Romania. Their details are being collected,” he said. Most of the students are in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine. They have been instructed to remain in safe places and avoid unnecessary movement. “Modi requested Putin for the safe passage for flights to bring our students back home and Putin agreed. All measures will be taken to bring them back over the next few days,” he added.
Bommai spoke to some of the students from Karnataka stranded in Ukraine and assured them of all help. “They don’t have proper shelter or food. Most of them are taking shelter in underground Metro,” he said. KSDMA stated that 387 people from the state are stranded in Ukraine. The Chief Minister’s Office, Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar and nodal officers are personally pursuing stranded cases with the MEA and Indian Embassy in Kyiv, it added.