Shocking reports are emerging of Bharatiya students being harassed and not allowed to cross over into Poland to escape the fighting in Ukraine.
Thousands of Bharatiya nationals studying in Ukraine got stuck after war broke out with Russia a few days back. While the Government of Bharat is making all efforts to evacuate the students, flights are not able to land in the war-torn country which has closed its airspace. So many students have headed for the Ukraine-Poland border to cross over into safety. The Indian Embassy in Poland has arranged for flights to Bharat and issued an advisory to students stuck in Ukraine to cross over into Poland at specific border crossings allowed by Polish government.
Shockingly, students are narrating that they are not being allowed to cross over into Poland by Ukrainian military, ostensible because Bharat took a neutral stance in the conflict and advised Russia, Ukraine and NATO to resolve their differences through dialogue.
A student from Kerala narrates her experience at Ukraine’s Shehyni-Medyka border crossing with Poland. The video clip was aired by Mathrubhumi Malayalam channel –
The student in the above clip says that Ukrainian military is preventing Bharatiya students from leaving. The Ukrainian military fired in the air, beat students up, & rammed cars into their midst to prevent them from crossing the border to Poland. More details of the above episode can be read here.
Listen to a student from Gujarat narrate their experience:
He says the Ukrainians are not allowing them to cross the border checkpoint. They have walked for 30-40 km, battling hunger, and now will have to spend the night in the open in freezing temperatures. They managed to cross one checkpoint, but are now stuck at a second one, and they are hearing that Ukraine’s military is blocking their route because “India did not support Ukraine”.
Another twitter user added – “A female student from my city in Gujarat informed her friends that Ukrainians are mistreating and some are even beating male students after India abstained from voting in UN. Extremely pathetic and vindictive behavior being shown by them.” There are also reports of the passports of Bharatiya students being torn.
Another video allegedly shows female students being assaulted by soldiers who push them back. Sounds of a girl screaming can be heard.
There is clear evidence of racist profiling at the border crossings – White people of all nationalities are being let through, while Browns and Blacks are not being allowed to cross. African students have also been discriminated against, being repeatedly pushed to the back of the queue at border crossings and not even allowed to board trains in Ukraine to leave the country.
“Guards let only Russians, Poles and Ukrainians through the border and demanded bribes from Indian students … Ukraine immigration officials turned them back, saying, “When your government has not cooperated with us, why should we cooperate with you?””, says one report
Ukraine’s behavior is downright revolting and a violation of all international norms. On the one hand, their envoy is pleading our PM to intervene in the conflict, and on the other they are holding our students hostage? As one Twitter user analyzed, this seems a deliberate ploy by the Ukrainian regime to arm twist Bharat into taking their side –
“The representative of Ukraine at UN alluded to the fact your students are there, think about their safety prior to the voting in UN. I initially thought it was out of desperation however many accounts seems to coming out that students were not given permission of leave by their colleges and hence they could not leave despite GoI’s first advisory. I also saw on twitter how some African students are not being allowed into Poland (not by Poland authorities) but by Ukranians saying first they will let Ukrainians leave. Poland has said anyone can come.”
Bharat’s Ministry of External Affairs should immediately summon the Ukrainian ambassador and make it clear that Ukraine will be held directly responsible for any casualty of Bharatiya citizens that are being held back and assaulted by their military.