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Kerala CM, LoP write to MEA concerned over safety of Malayalis, especially students, in Ukraine

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 24 (PTI) Concerned about the safety of thousands of Malayalis, especially students, trapped in Ukraine amidst the Russian military offensive against that country, the state of Kerala on Thursday urged the Centre to protect them and make necessary arrangements for their return.

Separate letters were shot off to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the State Assembly V D Satheesan seeking safe repatriation of Malayalis trapped in Ukraine.

The CM, in his letter, has said that among the Indian students there, 2,320 were from Kerala and many were staying back as they do not want a break in their studies.

“I am writing this letter to request the kind intervention of your good self with the authorities in that country for ensuring the safety of our students. I also request your kind intervention to make necessary arrangements for their return by arranging special flights,” Vijayan has said.

The LoP, in his letter, has said that around 20,000 Indians, mostly Malayalis, are stranded in Ukraine and with acute shortage of flights and rising air fares, many of them, especially students, are unable to afford the air tickets.

“With the war intensifying, Ukraine has started shutting down its major airports as there is an imminent threat to the airspace. The families of these students back home are extremely worried about the safety of their children,” Satheesan has said.

He has urged the Ministry of External Affairs to take “prompt steps” to ensure their safe return.

Meanwhile, the Department of Non Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) said that all possible steps were being taken for the safety of Malayalis in Ukraine and that it was in constant touch with the Indian Embassy there and the Ministry of External Affairs.

NORKA said that it was informed by the Indian Embassy that people have been asked to follow the instructions given by that country during the war and that no one should venture outside and should remain indoors wherever they are.

On Wednesday, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president and MP K Sudhakaran had also sent a letter to the External Affairs Minister about safety of Indians there and their safe return.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan also, a day ago, referred to the problems being faced by Indians in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, while speaking to reporters in Kottayam, Muraleedharan had said efforts were being made to arrange more flights, as per requirement, for bringing back Indians from Ukraine in view of the escalating political tensions there.

He had assured that the central government was responsible for ensuring safety and welfare of nearly 20,000 Indians, majority of them students, in Ukraine.

He had said that efforts were being made to arrange more flights in view of the situation that many Indians there do not have the requisite means to return and added that no one was being forced to come back. PTI HMP SS SS

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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