Seven Bihar Students Return from War-hit Ukraine

The first batch of seven students of Bihar from war-torn Ukraine reached Patna on Sunday. The reunion of the students with their families spread cheer among those who had assembled at the Jayprakash Narayan International airport (Patna) to receive them in the morning.

The students thanked the central government and the state government for ensuring their safe evacuation. โ€œIndian Embassy was very supportive. The embassy took us to the Ukraine-Romania border, passports were checked there and we entered Romania and were sent to India,” said Ashish Giri, a medical student from Motihari.

The Ukrainian airspace has been closed for civil aircraft operations since February 24 morning when the Russian military offensive began. Therefore, the Indian evacuation flights are operating out of Bucharest (Romania) and Budapest (Hungary).

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad, state ministers- Shahnawaz Hussain and Sanjay Jhaโ€“ were among those who welcomed the students at the airport. District Magistrate of Patna, Dr. Chandrashekhar Singh, was also present.

Soon after the arrival of the first batch of students from Ukraine, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told reporters here, โ€œI thank the Centre for arranging special flights to bring back those stranded in Ukraine.” While the Centre has said the rescued students will not be charged for the evacuation flights, the Nitish Kumar government has said it will bear the expenses of the remaining part of the commute of those hailing from the state.

Talking to media persons at the airport, Tarkishore Prasad said, โ€œThe government has a list of 273 students from the state stranded in Ukraine. This number can go up. The state government is collecting details from the district authorities in this regard.”

Reema Singh, a medical student and daughter of ruling Janata Dal (U) MLA Rajiv Kumar Singh, was among the returnees.

The MLA burst into tears as he hugged his daughter who thanked the government for the swift action in helping those stranded. โ€œMy daughter had gone to Ukraine for pursuing medical studies in the first week of January this year,” said the MLA from Tarapur constituency.

The first evacuation flight carrying 219 Indian students had reached Mumbai from Bucharest on Saturday evening.

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