NEW DELHI, MARCH 1: In the first Indian casualty in the war in Ukraine, a medical student from Karnataka’s Haveri district was killed in intense shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday.
Following the incident, India asked the Envoys of both Russia and Ukraine to ensure “urgent safe passage” to Indian nationals who are still in Kharkiv and in other cities in the conflict zones.
The victim was identified as Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar, a native of Chalageri in the Haveri district of Karnataka, who was studying at a medical college in Ukraine, according to Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner Manoj Rajan.
“With profound sorrow we confirm that an Indian student lost his life in shelling in Kharkiv this morning”, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Twitter at 2:58 p.m.
“The Ministry is in touch with his family. We convey our deepest condolences to the family”, he said.
Naveen’s uncle Ujjanagouda said he was killed when he stepped out of his bunker to exchange currency and fetch some food.
President of European Council Charles Michel spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed sadness over the death of the Indian student.
He said European countries are wholeheartedly helping in the evacuation of Indian citizens from Ukraine
The Ukrainian and Russian Ambassadors were called into the MEA and were conveyed to ensure the safety of the Indians stranded in Ukraine.
The MEA said India has reiterated its demand for “urgent safe passage” to Indian nationals who are still in Kharkiv and in other cities.
“Similar action is also being undertaken by our Ambassadors in Russia and Ukraine”, Bagchi said.
The Kharkiv city is witnessing increasing fighting between the Ukrainian troops and Russian forces.
Earlier in the day, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine asked stranded Indians in Kyiv to leave the capital city urgently.
In an advisory, it asked the citizens to leave Kyiv by available trains or any other means.
“All Indian nationals including students are advised to leave Kyiv urgently today. Preferably by available trains or through any other means available”, the Embassy said.
The advisory came amid increasing fighting between Russian forces and Ukrainian troops around Kyiv. (PTI)