Kashmiri students at Indo-Bangladesh border seek help

Kashmiri students stranded at Indo-Bangladesh border request evacuation amidst COVID-19 outbreak

A securityman keeps vigil on a closed street during the lockdown in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, in Jammu, Monday, March 23, 2020. (PTI Photo)

With the suspension of all international and domestic flights across the country, scores of Kashmiri students have been left stranded at India’s border with Bangladesh hoping the authorities would evacuate them.

A local newspaper reported that about 40 students are waiting at international passenger terminal Benapole-Landport, Jashore and had made distress calls and sent emails requesting authorities to evacuate them. “We were asked to vacate hostels by the college administration in Bangladesh. But, we were not allowed to enter Indian side and we are stuck at the border,” they said.

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These students had already booked their tickets from Kolkata to Delhi. “We are literally on the road, help us, save us, we are on the verge of death,” they appealed and said they cannot go back to Bangladesh as they have already reached the Kolkata border.

“We can’t stay here as it is too risky. We appeal to the government of India and J&K government to help us to reach our homes in Kashmir,” the distressed students said, in an email.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang Kondbarao Pole expressed helplessness, saying that all the borders were sealed in view of coronavirus outbreak.

Also Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

Hundreds of students from Kashmir are studying, mostly medicine, in Bangladesh. While a good number of them returned in recent days and have been quarantined at various places in Kashmir, some of them couldn’t return in time.

Meanwhile, three persons from Kargil district of Ladakh Union Territory, who had gone for pilgrimage to COVID-19 hit Iran, were reported dead there. An official confirmed the death of three pilgrims from Kargil died in Marshad and Qym cities of Iran where they had gone for pilgrimage.

13 persons have so far tested positive for COVID-19 in the Ladakh UT. Some of them had returned from Iran after pilgrimage while others were either their relatives or had got in touch with them.

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