Accusing the government of turning away its face in difficult times, the Congress on Thursday asked the government why it had not made arrangements in time to bring 20,000 Indian youths in Ukraine back home safely.
Saying that Indians in Ukraine are living in fear and apprehension, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was busy in electioneering and not taking care of their safety.
"Turning away its face in every difficult time...And remaining silent has become a habit of the Modi government. Our 20,000 Indian youths in Ukraine are forced to grapple with fear, apprehension and life threatening situations," he said in a tweet in Hindi.
"Why were arrangements not made in time to bring them safely? Is this the 'self-reliant' mission," Surjewala asked.
"His 'declaration' during Corona forced people to walk thousands of kilometres to save their lives. His silence now has put at risk 20,000 Indian youths, who are trapped between life and death in Ukraine. Is turning away from the people of the country in trouble, the solution of the 'Modi model'," he asked in another tweet in Hindi.
Surjewala also shared a video of students stranded outside the Indian embassy in Kyiv carrying their luggage.
"20000 Indian youths in Ukraine are at risk. 2,000 youths are from Haryana. But far from bringing them back, Modi-Khattar governments did not even consider it necessary to reply to my letter dated 17/2/2022. What will Modi-Khattar ji say to the children of Haryana standing outside the Indian Embassy in Kyiv," he asked.
As Russia carries out a military operation in Ukraine, triggering a major confrontation between the two sides, the Indian embassy in Ukraine has asked Indians in that country to maintain calm and remain safe wherever they are.
"The Government of India says - Our 20,000 Indians trapped in Ukraine should stay where they are. Because the government is busy fighting elections right now?" Surjewala said.
"Prime Minister ji, instead of taking care of all, you are busy in election rallies... But we Indians are praying for the well-being of all of you," he said in another tweet. "This is called...Opportunity in disaster once again?," he said.
In its fresh advisory, the Indian embassy in Ukraine described the situation as highly uncertain.
"Please maintain calm and remain safe wherever you are, be it in your homes, hostels, accommodations or in transit... All those who are travelling to Kyiv, including those travelling from western parts of Kyiv, are advised to return to their respective cities, temporarily, especially towards safer places along the western bordering countries," it said.
Russian troops launched their anticipated attack on Ukraine on Thursday, as President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to consequences they had "never seen".
Big explosions were heard before dawn in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa.
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