"Need evacuation plan, can't abandon own people": Rahul Gandhi on Indian students in Ukrainetext_fields
New Delhi: Sharing a video in which Ukranian border guards can be seen pushing back masses of people trying to cross the border, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called for the Central Government to publish a detailed evacuation plan for students still trapped in Ukraine and said that they and their parents deserved to have their sufferings heard and dealt with.
"My heart goes out to the Indian students suffering such violence and their family watching these videos. No parent should go through this. GOI must urgently share the detailed evacuation plan with those stranded as well as their families. We can't abandon our own people," Gandhi tweeted.
He had also earlier shared a video in which an Indian student in Ukraine alleged that the embassy was deaf to their pleas and that air tickets cost approximately ₹60,000, making them difficult to purchase.
A Times of India report published Saturday quoted parents and students on their plight at the Ukraine-Poland border, where many had made the dash for safety only to be trapped there without essentials.
They alleged that the guards were letting only Russian, Polish and Ukrainian citizens through the border and demanding bribes of $200 from each Indian student to make the crossing. They also alleged that Indian embassy officials were not listening to them either. Embassy officials however have said that they advised the students to stay in safety until evacuation was arranged.
Ukraine immigration officials allegedly turned them back, saying: "When your government has not cooperated with us, why should we cooperate with you," the report claimed. The passports of many students were destroyed or lost in the chaos, adding to their woes. Some have also alleged violence from the guards.
"It does not reflect well when a country like India who aspires for UN Security Council seat goes completely silent on internationally recognised principles," Congress leader Shashi Tharoor told news agency ANI last week.
"If the Chinese march into our country we would want other countries to stand up for us. If Ukraine expects us to speak to Russians, then at least we should try and be counted on the right side of the issue," Tharoor added.
As Ukraine airspace remains closed, the central government last week chalked out alternative evacuation plans with the help of Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia Republic. The government, in a statement told the students to not reach border points without coordinating with officials concerned. Poland has agreed to let students cross to safety without documents.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a key meet on Ukraine crisis. Sources said foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla gave a presentation to the prime minister on the current situation in Ukraine with a special focus on the evacuation operations. Around 2,000 Indians have been brought back amid the evacuation efforts, the government said on Sunday.