Fresh batch of 167 students return from Bangladesh

File Pic

A fresh batch of 167 Kashmiri students and two senior citizens arrived at Srinagar International Airport on Tuesday afternoon from Bangladesh.

“The Air India flight landed in the afternoon and the students were handed over to civil administration,” director Srinagar Airport SantoshDhoke said.

Soon after the flight landed at the airport, the students were shifted to 14-day administrative quarantine facility.

“The officials of Budgam district administration received the students at the airport. Proper thermal screening was done and they were deputed to respective district headquarters for administrative quarantine,” Deputy Commissioner Budgam, Tariq HussainGanai said.

“The samples for COVID-19 testing will be collected at the quarantine facility in their respective districts,” he said.

In the last week, two batches, each comprising 169 students, were evacuated. Earlier, in the first batch 168 students had landed in the Valley on May 8. Hence the total number of students who have been brought back so far from Bangladesh comes to 673.

The flights were arranged by the Government of India (GoI) amid the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.

An official said around 40 to 50 students are still stranded in different medical colleges of Bangladesh. “The government is pursuing the matter at official level and we are hopeful that all the students will be brought back,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the evacuated students expressed gratitude to the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh and Indian Embassy for taking their care during their stay in the hostels.

“I am very thankful to Indian High Commission in Dhaka as they have done a great job in evacuating us. The authorities ensured that all the students remain safe in college hostels,” a female student of Kumudini Women’s Medical College said in her video message.

Stranded residents

Meanwhile, J&K residents stranded in different states and abroad reiterated their appeal to the authorities back home for their evacuation.

Around 80 students at Astana Medical University Kazakhstan stranded in different cities of Kazakhstan for past two months reiterated their demanding for evacuation. “Besides students, there are dozens of workers stranded as well. But government has not planned anything so far to evacuate us from here,” said SuhailWani in an email to this newspaper.

He said the students and workers of other states like Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Delhi will be evacuated from May 25 onwards “but there is no plan of evacuation for students of Kashmir”.

“Please help us and put this issue in notice of J&K government so that we will be evacuated from here,” he said.

A group of around 90 Kashmiri students stranded in different medical colleges of Pakistan also urged the Government of India and J&K government for their evacuation to Valley. These students are pursuing medical courses in different colleges at Lahore and Islamabad.