Published: 25th February 2022
Nearly 2,500 students from Gujarat stranded in Ukraine, Centre to ensure safe return
The opposition Congress targeted the BJP government in the state, accusing it of inaction and delay in evacuating students and other Indian citizens stuck in the eastern European country
Nearly 2,500 students from Gujarat are stranded in Ukraine amid Russia's military operation, a state minister said on Friday. Talking to reporters, Education Minister Jitu Vaghani said Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has been in touch with the Centre to ensure the safe return of the stranded students to the state.
The opposition Congress targeted the BJP government in the state, accusing it of inaction and delay in evacuating students and other Indian citizens stuck in the eastern European country, while the ruling party said the Centre is doing everything possible for the safe return of the Indians, including the students from the state.
"Nearly 2,500 students from Gujarat are in Ukraine at present. The Indian government has been concerned about all its citizens since the very beginning. CM Bhupendra Patel is in constant touch with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the Prime Minister's Office to ensure safe return of Gujarati students and other citizens from the state, who are based in different parts of Ukraine," Vaghani said.
He said that as instructed by the chief minister, state Chief Secretary Pankaj Kumar spoke to the Foreign Secretary on Thursday and the state government has also opened a control room to provide guidance and information about the latest situation in Ukraine.
"Apart from the contact numbers provided by the Centre, people living in Gujarat can dial 079-23251900 to seek any information or help. I urge people stuck in Ukraine to be in touch with the Indian Embassy. I am confident that the Indian government will find a way to evacuate Indians just like we did in the past," the minister said.
Unhappy with the Centre's response to the crisis, Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil on Friday asked the Modi government to come out of the election mode.
"The Congress had asked the Centre to start the process of evacuation a week ago. But it did nothing. The BJP government should come out of the election mode and think about those who are still stranded. As an alternative to the air route, we can evacuate Indians by shifting them to European countries using roads," Gohil said.
Several students from Gujarat who are studying in Ukraine have been making desperate appeal for evacuation for the last few days. Russian forces on Thursday launched a military operation against Ukraine following weeks of tension between the two neighbouring countries.