“He was standing in the queue before a grocery shop when the Russian army fired at people”
New Delhi: An Indian student was killed in Ukraine’s Kharkiv on Tuesday morning in as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reached the big cities’ streets.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Tuesday, “With profound sorrow we confirm that an Indian student lost his life in shelling in Kharkiv this morning. The Ministry is in touch with his family.”
He also said: “We convey our deepest condolences to the family.”
Indian media reported that the student has been identified as Naveen Shekharappa Gyanagoudar, 21, from Karnataka. He was a fourth-year medical student at the Kharkiv National Medical University.
The Indian Express reported that the student’s hostel mate, Sridharan Gopalakrishnan from Chennai, said: “Naveen was shot dead around 10.30 am Ukrainian time today. He was standing in the queue before a grocery shop when the Russian army fired at people. We have no information about his body. None of us was able to visit the hospital, probably where it is kept now.”
He also said that there was no news about an evacuation plan for them. “Only rumours, there was no communication from Indian authorities,” he added.
India’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla is calling in the ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to reiterate India’s demand for urgent safe passage for the Indian nationals who are still in Kharkiv and cities in other conflict zones.
“Similar action is also being undertaken by our ambassadors in Russia and Ukraine,” Bagchi said.
Russia shelled the Ukrainian city of the second largest city, Kharkiv, on Tuesday, damaging various installations over there.
The Russian troops have also surrounded Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv and asked civilians to leave the city on the urgent note.
“All civilians in the city can freely leave the Ukrainian capital along the Kyiv-Vasylkiv highway. This direction is open and safe,” Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
Immediately thereafter, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine asked the stranded nationals to leave Kyiv immediately by any means.
“All Indian nationals, including students are advised to leave Kyiv urgently today. Preferably by available trains or through any other means available,” the Indian Embassy said in an advisory.
Russian and Ukrainian troops continued to engage in fighting on Kharkiv streets as war entered into the fifth day after Russian President Vladimir Putin order the invasion.