Flight ban leaves 75 Indian students still stuck in Singapore

They fear they might be deported to the Philippines as they are on a transit visa; local Indian High Commission helpless, awaiting MEA’s permission

Updated - March 19, 2020 12:25 pm IST

Published - March 19, 2020 11:55 am IST - ANANTAPUR

Students from Manila bound for Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh stuck in Singapore airport on Thursday afternoon.

Students from Manila bound for Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh stuck in Singapore airport on Thursday afternoon.

While 343 Indian students could fly back to Delhi and Visakhapatnam on Wednesday night from Kuala Lumpur after getting stuck there for more than 18 hours, another 75 students from University of Perpetual, Manila, are stuck in Singapore airport. They are awaiting Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ permission to let them fly back home.

Out in the cold

On Thursday morning (11 a.m. IST) and 1.30 p.m. Singapore local time, a medical student K. Namratha Reddy hailing from Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh and Manasa hailing from Bengaluru from the same university in Philippines told The Hindu over phone that while 70 students were still stuck in Manila, a batch of 50 students bound for Mumbai and 25 to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka had arrived at Singapore on March 17 and 18, but were not being allowed to fly out.

“The Indian High Commission in Singapore is in touch with us, but they expressed their inability to do anything unless the Indian government gave permission to fly into India. We are worried that we will be deported to Manila as we are on a transit visa in Singapore,” Ms. Manasa said. Meanwhile, a 55-year-old Indian woman who had come from New Zealand, and was heading to India too got stuck in Singapore along with the students.

Parents’ appeal

Parents of the 75 students are making an appeal to the Indian government to make early arrangements to bring back their children.

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