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SRINAGAR, Apr 20: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) senior leader and former minster, Mohammad Dilawar Mir, on Monday urged the government of India to evacuate J&K students stranded in various countries outside India due to COVID-19 lockdown. He also demanded shifting of stranded students, labourers and businessmen from various states of the country back to their homes in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement issued here, Mir said that despite repeated reminders, the external affairs ministry seems to be indifferent in bringing back J&K students from various countries especially those studying in Bangladesh whose lives are in peril due to the pace of prevailing pandemic.
“Gripped in fear and panic, there are over 600 Kashmiri students who are reportedly stranded in Bangladesh. This number is excluding those students who study in different countries across the sub continent. All they need, at this point of time, is safe and speedy evacuation by government of India so that they reach their homes before any eventuality,” the JKAP leader demanded.
He said that around 7,000 to 8,000 students from different districts of Jammu and Kashmir study in different medical colleges across Bangladesh since past decade. “Many of such students, especially girl students have been unfortunately pushed back on the India-Bangladesh border and are now confined to their hostels where there is no staff available to help them out, during this unprecedented crisis,” Mir remarked.
The JKAP leader said the J&K’s stranded students were given an option by Bangladesh authorities to leave the country and save themselves from the pandemic at their homes but unfortunately Indian authorities have shown an unexpected indifference and turned reluctant toward their return.
He said that the stranded students especially those studying in various medical colleges of Bangladesh have expressed apprehension that the situation in Bangladesh is likely to turn worse. “All these students demand is swift evacuation. These students are constantly sending distress calls to their families and have also pledged to follow COVID-19 protocol in Delhi and J&K,” Mir added.
Mir demanded that in addition to the students studying outside India, the central government should facilitate the return of J&K students, labourers and businessmen who are marooned in quarantine facilities established by other states of the country.
The JKAP leader solicited personal intervention of the Union Home Minster to facilitate the return of all stranded students of J&K who are helplessly waiting for an early return to their homes since the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. “I also call upon the Honb’le Lieutenant Governor of J&K Mr. G.C Murmu to use his good offices in the union home and external affairs ministries for an early evacuation of J&K’s stranded students’ from within and outside the country, so as to address the mounting anxiety among their families back home,” Mir averred.