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  India   All India  25 May 2024  India to Assist Students From Bishkek Return

India to Assist Students From Bishkek Return

THE ASIAN AGE. | SRIDHAR KUMARASWAMI
Published : May 25, 2024, 12:49 am IST
Updated : May 25, 2024, 12:49 am IST

Violence had broken out a few days ago between local Kyrgyz students and foreign students belonging to a North African country

Indian embassy officials meeting with Indian students at Kyrgyz State Medical Academy (KSMA). (X)
 Indian embassy officials meeting with Indian students at Kyrgyz State Medical Academy (KSMA). (X)

New Delhi: In an indication of the fear that has gripped thousands of Indian students in the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan after the recent anti-foreigner riots there, the Indian embassy in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek said on Friday that though the situation in Bishkek is calm, it is working with medical universities in the Central Asian nation at the request of Indian medical students “to arrange for their transport to the nearest international airport to address their concerns”.

The statement indicates that many Indian students want to return home amid reports that they have virtually been confined to their rooms for the last several days by the authorities there to ensure their safety from local mobs on the streets. Commercial flights between Bishkek and Delhi are operational through other cities in third countries such as Almaty, Dubai, Istanbul, Sharjah and Tashkent.

India had earlier this week said it was concerned at the recent incidents of violence against foreign students in Bishkek but pointed out that “due to swift action by the Kyrgyz authorities, the situation in Bishkek has returned to normal”.

Pointing out that about 17,000 Indian students are in the Kyrgyz Republic, New Delhi urged the students and their families “not to pay attention to rumours being spread by some mischievous elements”. It further said the Indian ambassador in Bishkek and other Indian diplomats posted in the Central Asian nation had visited various universities in the country over the past few days to interact with Indian students and address their concerns.

India also said that air connectivity between Bishkek and Delhi remains operational, but pointed out that all Indian students must contact their universities about the formalities required for the completion of their exams.

It may be recalled that according to media reports, violence had broken out a few days ago between local Kyrgyz students and foreign students belonging to a North African country, following which riots erupted in the Central Asian nation where the locals targeted foreign students in the streets.

In a statement earlier this week, the Indian embassy in Bishkek had said: “The embassy has been concerned at the recent incidents of violence against foreign students in Bishkek. However, due to swift action by the Kyrgyz authorities, the situation in Bishkek has returned to normal. No untoward incident has been reported in Bishkek during the past few days. There are no restrictions on the movement of transport or people. However, as a measure of precaution, the classes are being conducted in an online mode.”

It added: “Every year, a large number of Indian students join medical and other universities in the Kyrgyz Republic for further studies. At the moment, about 17,000 Indian students are in the Kyrgyz Republic and spread across many cities, but most of them are in Bishkek… The embassy has been working actively with the universities and senior government functionaries to address the concerns of the Indian students. Two helplines … have been functional … where students can continue to reach out to the embassy for all kinds of assistance. Students and their families are urged not to pay attention to rumours being spread by some mischievous elements.”

The Indian embassy added: “The ambassador visited the Jalal-Abad State University on May 18 and the International Higher School of Medicine in Bishkek today and interacted with the Indian students there. Embassy officials visited the International Medical University and the Eurasian Medical University on May 21 and the Royal Metropolitan University and the Avicenna University today to continue this interaction with the students and address their concerns. Air connectivity between Bishkek and Delhi remains operational and flights to India can also be availed via Almaty, Dubai, Istanbul, Sharjah and Tashkent. The local transport to Manas International airport in Bishkek remains accessible to Indian students.”

It also pointed out: “As the academic year is coming to a close, prior to travelling back to India including for summer vacations, all Indian students must contact their respective universities about the formalities required for the completion of their exams. In case any assistance is needed, the students are requested to contact the embassy of India in Bishkek. The embassy remains committed to ensuring the well-being of the Indian student community.”

Tags: indian students, bishkek