By Ankita Upadhyay/Express News Service
New Delhi, February 28: There has been growing distress calls from Indian students stuck at Ukraine-Poland border claiming that they were ‘manhandled’ and ‘ill-treated’ by the Ukrainian security personnel allegedly because India did not condemn the Russian invasion at the UN Security Council.
Many of these students, who were stuck for over 72 hours in freezing cold conditions, alleged that they were kicked, beaten up, dragged and some even had their phones snatched from them. According to Sandeep Kaur, the Ukrainians were earlier allowing some students to cross but later stopped them from entering Poland.
“I was waiting along with my brother and some of our friends in a group. First, the officials asked us to stand in a line and we did. Later they asked the girls to make a separate line… They then let me cross the border while my brother waited on the other side. When my brother said that he too is in the queue, they dragged and beat him with a baton,” Kaur told this correspondent.
The student rued that there was none from the Indian Embassy to coordinate with the Ukrainian authorities at the border. “After we crossed the Poland border, we met Indian embassy officials but there was none on the Ukrainian side. Boys on the Ukrainian side have been manhandled badly. Now my brother is returning to his college hostel along with his friends as the situation has worsened.”
When contacted regarding the incidents, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi declined to comment. According to Monisha Kalburgi, a student of Lviv National Medical University, some of her friends returned from the Poland border. Ukrainian personnel are unhappy that India favoured Russia, she claimed, adding that this was the reason for the ill-treatment.
Another student told this newspaper, “We left at 4 am in the morning from Ternopil. The Indian Embassy had informed that Poland border is open and we can leave, but at the border we were stopped by the Ukrainian Army.” “The temperature is three degrees. People are falling sick. When we called the Polish embassy, they asked us to call the Kiev Embassy which told us to coordinate with the Polish Embassy,” another student said.
‘No one from embassy to coordinate’
The student rued that there was none from the Indian Embassy to coordinate with the Ukrainian authorities at the border. When contacted regarding the incidents, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi declined to comment.