Indian student killed in shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine

New Delhi, March 1 (IANS) An Indian student was killed in Ukraine’s Kharkiv on Tuesday morning in shelling as the war between Russia and Ukraine reached big cities’ streets.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “With profound sorrow we confirm that an Indian student lost his life in shelling in Kharkiv this morning. The Ministry is in touch with his family.”
He also said: “We convey our deepest condolences to the family.”
India’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla is calling in Ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to reiterate India’s demand for urgent safe passage for the Indian nationals who are still in Kharkiv and cities in other conflict zones.
“Similar action is also being undertaken by our Ambassadors in Russia and Ukraine,” Bagchi said.
Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) Commissioner Dr Manoj Rajan on Tuesday said that the Indian student, who lost his life in Kharkiv this morning because of shelling in the area, has been identified as Naveen Shekharappa from Chalageri village of Haveri district in Karnataka.
“We have confirmed from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) the unfortunate demise of Naveen Shekharappa in Ukraine. He was from Chalageri, Haveri. He had left for a nearby store to buy something. Later his friend got a call from a local official that he (Naveen) has died,” said Karnataka SDMA. Earlier today, MEA in a statement said that one Indian student has lost his life in Kharkiv this morning because of shelling in the area.
Russia shelled the Ukrainian city of the second largest city Kharkiv on Tuesday damaging various installations over there.
The Russian troops have also surrounded Ukraine capital city Kyiv on Tuesday and asked civilians to leave the city on the urgent note.
“All civilians in the city can freely leave the Ukrainian capital along the Kyiv-Vasylkiv highway. This direction is open and safe,” Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
Immediately thereafter, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine asked the stranded nationals to leave Kyiv immediately by any means.
“All Indian nationals, including students are advised to leave Kyiv urgently today. Preferably by available trains or through any other means available,” Indian Embassy said in an advisory.
Russian and Ukrainian troops continued to engage in fighting on Kharkiv streets as war entered into the fifth day after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for military operation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke to the father of Naveen Shekharappa, an Indian student who died in shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine this morning.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a high-level meeting on Monday evening over the Ukraine crisis said that the entire government machinery is working round the clock to ensure that all Indians there are safe and secure, informed Bagchi. This was the second high-level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister during the day over the prevailing situation in Ukraine.
MEA on Monday said that the ‘Special Envoys’ including Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju, and Gen (Retd) VK Singh will travel to neighbouring countries of Ukraine to coordinate evacuations of stranded Indians amid ongoing Russian military operations.

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