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There have been no Incidents of Indian Students Being Kidnapped in Ukraine: MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs has dismissed accusations that certain Indian students studying in Ukraine are now being held captive by Ukrainians and aren’t being permitted to leave.

“Our Embassy in Ukraine is in continuous touch with Indian nationals in Ukraine. We note that with the cooperation of the Ukrainian authorities, many students left Kharkiv yesterday. We have not received any reports of any hostage situation regarding any student,” Arindam Bagchi, MEA spokesperson, said.

“We have requested the support of the Ukrainian authorities in arranging special trains for taking out students from Kharkiv and neighbouring areas to the western part of the country,” he added.

No Reports of Holding Hostage

India said on Thursday that it had not received any reports of Indian students being held prisoner in Kharkiv and that it had asked Ukraine for help in organising special trains to transport them out from the city and surrounding areas. India’s remarks came only hours post-Russia alleged that Ukrainian security forces had “really taken hostage” some Indian students, using them as a “human shield” and preventing them from leaving in any manner possible for the Russian land.

Russian officials alleged that Ukrainian forces had kidnapped several students and then used them as human shields to avoid travelling to Russia’s Belgorod. The Russian defence ministry went on to say that Russian forces were prepared to fly students back to their home countries on their military transport aircraft.

What did PM Modi say?

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called with Russian President Vladimir Putin and requested Russian assistance in evacuating Indian nationals from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, devastated by Moscow’s military operation. Until Wednesday evening, most of the 3,000 Indian students still in Ukraine were located in Kharkiv. Bagchi also praised the neighbouring countries’ assistance in evacuating Indians from the fighting zone.

He said, “We thank Ukraine’s western neighbours for receiving Indian nationals and accommodating them while three IAF evacuation flights with 628 Indians from the Romanian capital Bucharest, Hungary’s Budapest and Polish city Rzeszow landed at the Hindon airbase near Delhi in the early hours of Thursday. Another flight from Bucharest, operated by Air India Express, carrying 183 Indians landed in Mumbai at 5:30 am on Thursday.”

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