Arunachalee Students Fear for Their Lives Amid Russo-Ukrainian Crossfire 


The Arunachalee students caught in the crossfire between Russian and Ukranian troops in Ukraine have expressed fear for their lives as the Indian embassy has allegedly failed to reach them.

Sannata Manglong from Namsai is a 6th year Sumy State Medical University student. Manglong is stranded in Sumy, one of the easternmost states of Ukraine along the Russian border. Manglong is the only Arunachalee student in Sumy town.

“Not a single Indian has been evacuated with the help of the embassy from my town (Sumy). They are helpful for the students stranded in the western zone of Ukraine but not for us,” claimed Manglong.

“They (Russians) bombed Kyiv on the 24th. It was too late for any of us to move to the western zone from that point because the train or any vehicle has to pass through Kyiv,” he said during a WhatsApp chat.

Manglong is reportedly taking shelter in the university hostel. However, whenever the emergency siren blows, he has to run for a bunker like other residents.

“We are in our respective rooms. But when there is an alarm, we go to bunkers. It’s safer to be inside our rooms than to go outside. But the issue is, there’s not an option for us to leave the town as we are stuck and in future there might be shortage of food stuffs,” he said.

He further claimed that the situation in eastern Ukraine is precarious and much worse than in western Ukraine.

“Everyone is concerned for western Ukraine, but the truth is they have not even seen anything – they are already on the safer side. Everything is normal there, no threats (for now), no lockdown, shops are open and everything but for the eastern it’s all the opposite,” he rued.

“And they (Indian embassy) are not doing anything about it. They should be more concerned for us, but that’s just the opposite and it’s the hard truth,” he said.

Gumin Jerang, who is stranded in Kharkiv, also expressed anger and frustration. Kharkiv is one of the eastern most cities where heavy battle is being fought between Russian troops and the Ukrainian army.

“The Indian embassy is doing nothing. Not worth talking about it. We are running away from Kharkiv at our own risk. They are doing nothing,” said Jerang. He refused to disclose his current location in Ukraine due to security reasons. However, he hinted that he is on the move, looking for a safer location.

At least 10 Arunachalee students – Horli Rime, Arono Pul, Ronit Pul, Shabnam Tamai, Priya Ngi, Dichasio Ngadong, Tenzing Doden Mosobi, Kiran Tasung, Sannata Manglong and Gumin Jerang – are reportedly stranded in Ukraine. One more student from Arunachal, Md Ahmed, is also on the list of stranded students, but there are no details available about him.

Horli Rime and Arono Pul are in the Uzhorod National University, while Ronit Pul, Shabnam Tamai, Priya Ngi and Tenzing Doden Mosobi are in the Ternopil National University, and Kiran Tasung is in the Zarporizhzhia State Medical University. These seven students, who were in the western part of Ukraine, are now reportedly at the Romanian border, on their way to Hungary.

“We are in a city near the Romanian border. We are good now. We will move to Uzhorod, which is near the Hungary border, because the condition in the Romanian border is pretty bad,” said Mosobi.

In a video (filmed by a stranded Indian on 27 February at the Ukraine-Romania border) that Mosobi shared, it is claimed that the situation is chaotic at the Romanian border as stranded Indians have to stand in a queue for 30 hours under heavy snow, in freezing temperatures, without food and proper shelter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a high-level meeting on Monday, and entrusted four cabinet ministers, including union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, to evacuate the stranded Indians, naming the evacuation mission ‘Operation Ganga’.

Minister Rijiju flew to Slovakia on Tuesday afternoon, and he would visit the Slovakia-Ukriane border to oversee the operation.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has got everyone on board for Operation Ganga and we will bring our students back safely. I thank the crew of SpiceJet for their devoted service for the country,” said Rijiju before taking off for Slovakia.

Courtesy: AT

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