Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, while hearing a petition on rescuing Indian students stranded in Ukraine, referred to a social media post that questioned him on what actions he had taken to bring back Indians from the war-torn country, and wondered if he could ask the Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the war.
“On social media, I saw some video saying what is CJI doing! Can I give directions to President of Russia to stop the war,” the Chief Justice remarked.
The Chief Justice made the remark while hearing a plea to rescue more than 200 Indian students reportedly stranded on Ukrainian borders.
“We have all sympathies with the students. The Government of India is doing it’s work,” he said.
The Supreme Court later asked the Attorney General to help in the evacuation of Indian medical students stranded in Ukraine near the Romania border.
India has stepped up evacuation efforts of its citizens from the war zone by roping in the Air Force. India has asked its nationals to leave Kharkiv urgently to three nearby places “even on foot” as Russia bombards Ukrainian cities.
Students complained of being kicked, intimidated and not being let on trains leaving the city. Many of them said that they had to walk between 11 and 16 km away to reach the three locations specified by the Indian government.
Earlier today, the Indian government denied reports that Indian students were held hostages in Ukraine.
“We have not received reports of any hostage situation regarding any student. We have requested the support of the Ukrainian authorities in arranging special trains for taking out students from Kharkiv and neighbouring areas to the western part of the country,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.
The clarification came after the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian forces are keeping a large group of Indian students as “hostages” in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which is virtually under Russian control.
Approximately 8,000 Indians, mainly students, are still stranded in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had said on Tuesday.
India has been evacuating its citizens through special flights from Ukraine’s western neighbours such as Romania, Hungary and Poland as the Ukrainian airspace has been shut since February 24 due to the Russian military offensive.
8CommentsFour Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri, Kiren Rijiju, Jyotiraditya Scindia and VK Singh are in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries to coordinate evacuation efforts.