Tamil Nadu

Kin of students who drowned in Russia await answers from govt.

The families of the four medical students who drowned in the Volga river in Moscow, Russia, say they are clueless about when the bodies would reach them. The lack of information and inability to speak to the Russian government as they did not know the language has left them with no option but to petition the State for help.

Four students, three of them in the final year of MD and one in the second year of the six-year programme at Volgograd Medical Academy had drowned in the river on Saturday night. Their bodies were found along the banks of the river on Sunday morning.Though the families had been informed immediately, owing to the pandemic situation and the lack of air transport the families could not travel to Russia.

Anandan, father of Manoj, one of the students, had petitioned the Commissionerate of Rehabilitation and Welfare of non-resident Tamils, which, in turn, had petitioned the Indian ambassador in Russia to assist in transporting the mortal remains. Manoj’s brother Kishore said, “We are still in dark on what actually occurred and we haven’t received any official communication regarding the incidents in Russia. Nor about how and when the mortal remains would be brought back. We tried to reach out to a few of the students there but no concrete messages were passed on to us. Some students informed us that the autopsy procedures are over but we haven’t received any copies of the autopsy report yet. University authorities haven’t spoken to us and there are language issues as they prefer speaking in Russian. We are still awaiting official communication. Further delay in bringing back the mortal remains would deeply hurt the family.”

Anand Kumar, uncle of Stephen Lebaku, whose family lives in Chennai said the Indian embassy had taken over the issue. “We are awaiting information,” he said.

He said the family had learned that the Indian embassy and the medical institution had completed the formalities. The death certificates were expected to be provided on Tuesday. On Wednesday a funeral agent would be appointed. The families have been told that all efforts are being made to arrange for the transport of the mortal remains by Friday, failing which it would arrive next week, Mr. Kumar said.

Meanwhile, the relatives of Mohammed Ashiq, petitioned Tiruppur District Collector K. Vijayakarthikeyan to arrange for the mortal remains to be brought back.

Ashiq's father Mohamed Rafi, a resident of Chokkanathapalayam in Dharapuram, Tiruppur district, told The Hindu over phone that the Collector had assured him that he would discuss the issue with higher officials. “We have faxed their request to the government immediately for further follow up and action,” Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan said.The family of R. Vignesh of Thittakudi, submitted a petition to the Collector Chandra Sekhar Sakhamuri seeking the administration’s intervention to bring back the body. The victim’s uncle B. Venkatesan said Vignesh had joined the University through a consultant in 2015.

“He had three more months to complete the course. The news has shattered the family. We have submitted a petition to the Collector seeking immediate intervention to bring back the body,” he said.

Mr. Venkatesan said that the State government was in touch with the Indian embassy in Moscow and they had been told to expedite the process.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 25, 2020 10:22:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kin-of-students-who-drowned-in-russia-await-answers-from-govt/article32320411.ece

Next Story