Budapest [Hungary]: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday said that close to 6,200 students have been evacuated from Ukraine till today including the 889 students who will be landing in India on Sunday. He further said that efforts are underway to evacuate Indian students from Sumy’s Ukraine and arrangements are being made.
Speaking on the matter, the Union Minister said, “I think after the 5 flights today the figure will be close to 6,200 but you can never be absolutely precise because some people who came to Hungary registered others we have to issue an advisory that last flight is going out.
Approximately 5,200 Indian nationals were returned home country yesterday. Today around 889 are returning to their home country. We are operating the last leg of Operation Ganga flights today.”
Puri said that when the evacuation process is on large scale, there are many anticipated and unanticipated challenges.
“When you carry out at evacuation process on such a large scale there will be challenges which you anticipate like those challenges many of our youngsters may have a valid document and many may not have. Some don’t have visas. So, we have to persuade Soviet countries to allow them in coming without visas because of the extraordinary circumstances. These days you can’t even enter a restaurant without a COVID certificate but insist on entering without a COVID certificate, all those were anticipated challenges but there are some unanticipated challenges things which crop up because of the nature of the mission.
For insane this mission is being carried out of a war zone and there were apprehensions that there would be an exaggeration of tensions, therefore, advisories were issued requesting people to move to safer places and some moved that’s why 6,000 are out and some stayed there,” he said.
The Indian Embassy on Sunday said that the last leg of ‘Operation Ganga’ has begun, asking the stranded students to reach the Hungarian City Center in Budapest.
Separately Indian Embassy in Kyiv also urged its nationals who are still in Ukraine to register themselves for the evacuation process under ‘Operation Ganga’.
Meanwhile, the MEA yesterday informed that almost all Indians have left Kharkiv city of Ukraine and the main focus of the government is to evacuate citizens from Sumy as it is challenging amid ongoing violence and lack of transportation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent four special envoys to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries from where Indians are being evacuated.
Four cabinet ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiran Rijiju, General (Retd) VK Singh, and Hardeep Singh Puri have been on the job for the last many days. A former diplomat Hardeep Puri has been stationed in Hungary to coordinate their efforts to evacuate Indian students here.
Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognised Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk -as independent entities. Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia’s military operations in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Moscow.