Indian students fly back home amid violence in Kyrgyzstan; universities postpone exams

Students inform that universities are actively assisting with evacuations, postponing exams, arranging charter flights and declaring vacations until the situation improves
While no Indian students were reported dead, several were injured in the attacks
To recall, the crisis began on Friday, May 17(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

Amid escalating racist attacks on foreign students in Kyrgyzstan, particularly South Asians, Indian students are booking flights back to India, and universities are postponing exams. "Although the situation is stable and normal right now, sixty per cent of Indian students have booked their flight back home, myself included. We all plan to leave within the next couple of days,” said a student from the International Higher School of Medicine (ISHM), Kyrgyzstan, who spoke with EdexLive on the condition of anonymity.

Students also informed that universities are actively assisting with evacuations, postponing exams, and declaring vacations until the situation improves. “We will have online classes in the upcoming week and then vacation. Our exams are unlikely to be held before August,” the student added. Students also claim that few universities have arranged charter flights for them to return home.

To recall, the crisis began on Friday, May 17, when Indian students in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan faced violent backlash from locals, targeting Egyptian, Pakistani, and Indian students. While no Indian students were reported dead, several were injured in the attacks. It is alleged that a Pakistani student died during the incident. The violence was triggered by an earlier conflict on May 13 between Egyptian students and locals, although the exact cause remains unknown.

Following the incident, which had presumably angered the locals, who then decided to launch a manhunt for the foreigners.

The visuals depicted how the locals gathered in groups at locations where the foreign population was high, and then forcibly entered residences and hostels.

In response to the crisis, Pakistan has initiated evacuations for their students, while the Indian embassy has provided a helpline for emergencies. However, Indian students have largely been left to arrange their own transport and flights.

“They are helping us with food and a helpline but nothing more. The transport to the airport, flight and everything else we are taking care of on our own,” said another student from Bishkek. He noted that the situation is more severe for Pakistani students, who have faced brutal beatings, whereas, Indian students have mostly encountered verbal abuse and racism. “Pakistani students have been brutally beaten, while we are mainly facing verbal abuse and racism, with locals telling us to go back and accusing us of stealing their jobs,” said the student.

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