434 Kashmiri students leave MP for home by buses

Jammu: In view of the Eid festival on May 25, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has sought early return of all students of the Union territory stranded in Bangladesh under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ launched to bring back Indians stuck abroad amid the coronavirus crisis.
The first batch of 168 students of Jammu and Kashmir studying in Bangladesh has been airlifted to Srinagar on May 8. According to the Union Territory administration, 230-240 students are still stranded in the neighbouring country.
A spokesperson said Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam has written to Union Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla over the matter.
“Their early return attains significance in view of the ongoing holy month of Ramzan and the approaching Eid festival on May 25,” Subrahmanyam has written to the Foreign Secretary.
The chief secretary has pointed out that with the present plan of evacuating these students in a staggered manner, there is every apprehension that such students, who have to take flights at later dates would get anxious.
Seeking personal intervention of the foreign secretary, Subrahmanyam has called for arranging for return of these students to Srinagar in a single flight so that they reach home well before Eid.
Meanwhile, over 434 Kashmiri students, stranded in various parts of Madhya Pradesh due to lockdown on account of coronavirus outbreak, left for Jammu and Kashmir from Bhopal and Indore by buses this afternoon.
365 students started their home-bound journey in buses from Bhopal, while 69 others left from Indore.
Bhopal district collector Tarun Pithode said medical check-up of all the students was conducted before they were given e-passes for the journey.
A fleet of 18 AC buses carrying 365 students left Bhopal around 3 pm, while the group of 69 students left Indore in two buses.
In Bhopal, Kashmiri students from various parts of the state gathered at a private school in Gandhi Nagar locality on Friday night.
The buses will ferry the students to Lakhanpur post on Punjab-J&K border in Kathua district, from where the administration of the Union Territory will arrange their travel to their hometowns, an official said in Indore.
Water Resources Minister Tulsiram Silawat was present in Indore when two buses carrying students left.
Firdaus Ahmed Johar, a research student at Indores Devi Ahilya University, was among those who boarded buses for Jammu and Kashmir.
Expressing happiness, he said, “We were stranded in Indore for the last several days due to lockdown. We are thankful to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for helping us return home.”
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had recently written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, requesting him to make arrangements to take Kashmiri students stranded in Madhya Pradesh to their homes.
As Jammu and Kashmir is under Central rule, it is the Centre’s duty to help the people from that region to return from various parts of the country where they are stranded, Singh had said.