Union minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan said India issued the first advisory before February 24 asking students to leave Ukraine but students were not willing at that time.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Wednesday slammed the blame-game over the evacuation of stranded students in Ukraine after Union minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan said that many students did not want to leave Ukraine as universities refused to conduct online classes.
“Allegations that we were late to initiate evacuation of our students are not right. Students didn’t want to leave as universities were not ready to conduct online classes. We released our first advisory before February 24 for students to leave Ukraine,” the minister said.
“Sir. Please stop. Please for heavens sake don’t blame the students when they are mentally traumatised and struggling to get out of Kharkiv,” Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote.
The opposition has been questioning the government over the evacuation process after Karnataka’s Naveen Sheharappa, a 21-year-old medical student studying in Ukraine, died in Russian shelling.
The Centre has embarked on Operation Ganga to bring back every Indian stranded in Ukraine. The government has also approached Moscow for a safe passage of Indians out of the war-torn areas.
Out of 20,000 Indians estimated to be in Ukraine before the evacuation, over 6,000 people have been brought back to India. India’s evacuation plan was challenged after Ukraine shut its airspace following which the ministry of external affairs came up with alternative land routes via Ukraine’s neighbouring countries. Ministers have been deputed to these neighbouring countries to oversee the evacuation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired several high-level meetings in the last few days to review the progress in the evacuation.
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