Denying reports of Indian students being held as “hostages” in Ukraine, the Indian government today said that it was in constant touch with Indian nationals in the war-torn country.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, providing clarity on the claims made by Russia, said: “We have not received reports of any hostage situation regarding any student. We have requested support of the Ukrainian authorities in arranging special trains for taking out students from Kharkiv and neighbouring areas to the western part of the country.”
The Indian government’s clarification came after Russian government claimed that Ukrainian forces are keeping a large group of Indian students as “hostages” in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which is virtually under Russian control.
At a briefing on Wednesday, a Russian military spokesperson said: “According to our information, Ukrainian authorities are forcibly keeping a large group of Indian students in Kharkiv who wish to leave Ukrainian territory and go to Belgorod.”
“In fact, they are being held as hostages… Russian armed forces are ready to take all necessary measures for the safe evacuation of the Indian citizens. And send them home from the Russian territory with its own military transport planes or Indian planes, as the Indian side proposed to do,” the spokesperson said.
The claim by Russia side came shortly after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and discussed the situation in Kharkiv, where over a thousand Indian students were said to be stranded.
Russia, reportedly, promised to create “humanitarian corridors” for evacuation of Indians from the conflict zones.
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