Almost six days after Russia started the invasion of Ukraine, a 21-year-old medical student from India got killed in the Eastern city in Ukraine called Kharkiv near the borders with Russia on Tuesday. This was the first casualty that India has suffered in the Russia vs Ukraine conflict.
Officials from India have identified the deceased as Naveen S G. he was a fourth-year medical student who was studying MBBS from the Kharkiv National Medical University and he belonged to the Chalageri village located in the Haveri district of Karnataka. As per reports, he got killed during the shelling. As told by a former hostel mate of Naveen in Kharkiv, he was hit during the firing by the Russian military when he was outside a grocery store.
Foreign secretary of India, Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that all Indian Nationals who were stuck in the capital city of Ukraine have been evacuated as of now. The Indian government is also looking at closing its embassy in Kyiv and focusing on moving the officials to the office in Lviv which was recently established and is located about 70 km away from the Polish border to facilitate the evacuation efforts.
Some of the officials of the Indian embassy have already reached Lviv, as per reports. If the situation further deteriorates in the capital city, Kyiv, the Indian embassy that is located really close to the Presidential palace and some other important buildings in the city, will then be evacuated fully. Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi had earlier confirmed the death of the Indian student. He posted on his Twitter saying that with profound sorrow that had to confirm that an Indian student had lost his life in shelling in Ukraine. The Ministry was in touch with the family and they had conveyed their deepest condolences to them.
Foreign secretary Shringla, in a late-evening press, said that the circumstances in which Naveen got hit were still not clear and he also stated that the body had been sent to a university morgue. The Indian government was making efforts to bring it back in coordination with the local authorities of Ukraine. As per the statement by the former hostel mate named Shridharan Gopalakrishnan, he said that Naveen was shot dead around 10:30 am Ukrainian time yesterday. Naveen was standing in a queue outside the grocery store when the army fired at people there.
The incident has deepened the fears in New Delhi as thousands of students who were pursuing medical degrees are still stranded in Ukraine at a time when Russia has intensified its offensive in the Eastern part of the country. The news came after the Indian embassy had urged the Indian nationals that were residing in the capital to leave urgently as soon as possible and a day after the government of India had decided to send four Union Ministers to supervise the evacuation efforts in Ukraine.