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194 northeast students trapped in Kyrgyzstan appeal for rescue flights

Nearly 200 students from the northeastern States have appealed to the Indian embassy in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek for evacuating them out of the central Asian country. Many of the stranded students, from Assam, have also appealed to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to arrange flights for them to return home.

“We are students from the northeastern States studying in various universities of Kyrgyzstan. We have finished the current semester and want to return home safely now. The Indian government is providing flights to evacuate the students of many States but has not scheduled a flight for us,” they said.

Sehil Akhtar Khan, from western Assam’s Barpeta district, said they were scared about not being able to return home after India closed all international flights.

“The Vande Bharat mission has started but only four flights were operated in the first phase to take students from other parts of India to Delhi, Hyderabad and Gaya. We waited for the second phase and are aghast at not finding the names of the 194 students from the northeast,” he told The Hindu via WhatsApp.

Arif Ahmed, also from Barpeta and a student of the International School of Medicine in Bishkek like Mr. Khan, said they have been facing food, lodging and health issues for almost three months now.

“The embassy officials said evacuation was not in their hands while the Assam government contacted via email and Twitter has not given any satisfactory response. Only the Arunachal Pradesh government has responded properly and is ready to take back their students,” he said.

There are 12 students from Arunachal Pradesh in Kyrgyzstan. Manipur has the most students (107) followed by Assam (72). Mizoram has two and Tripura one.

Sanidul Hussain, from Dewrikuchi in Barpeta district and a student of the Kyrgyz State Medical Academy, said some of them had visited the Indian embassy but the officials had virtually ignored them. “We don’t know where to go or what to do,” he said.

Nibir Sarma of Pathsala in Barpeta district and Kaustab Kiron Das of Ahatguri in central Assam’s Morigaon district made similar appeals.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2020 7:40:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/194-northeast-students-trapped-in-kyrgyzstan-appeal-for-rescue-flights/article31803974.ece

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