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Russia to investigate death of Indian medical student in Kharkiv shelling

NEW DELHI, Mar 3: Russia will investigate the death of the Indian medical student in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Russian Ambassador-designate to India Denis Alipov told newsmen in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Alipov said, "I want to express our sympathy to the family of Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar and to the entire Indian nation over the tragedy... Russia will do everything it possibly can to ensure the safety of Indian citizens in the areas of intense conflict...And a proper investigation of this unfortunate incident."

"We have received India`s requests for emergency evacuation of all those stranded there through the Russian territory. We are actively working on all ways and means to launch such an operation and provide a humanitarian corridor for evacuation of the people there," he said.

Meanwhile, one more Indian student died in Ukraine. The 22-year old Chandan Jindal, who hailed from Barnala in Punjab, died of stroke on Wednesday. A student from Karnataka was killed during shelling by the invading Russian military in Kharkiv city on Tuesday.

Chandan's parents have sought the Government's help to bring back his body to India. He was admitted to a hospital in Vinnytsia after he suffered what was clinically described as an ischemic shock on February 2. His father Shishan Kumar was on his side. He was a student of the Vinnytsia Pyrogov Memorial Medical University.

On Tuesday, Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagouda, died when he was hit in shelling by Russian troops in Kharkiv. He was standing in queue at a grocery shop near his apartment early in the morning. He and his friends were in bunker without food for several days and Naveen dared to go out to bring food for all when he was hit. A while earlier he had talked to his father.

According to an NDTV report, a student said, "He had only gone to get food. For others in the hostel, we provide food, but he stayed in a flat just behind the Governor's House. He had been standing in the queue for an hour or two. Suddenly there was an air strike that blew up the Governor's House and he was killed."

The report also quoted another source as saying, "Naveen was shot dead around 10.30 am Ukrainian time today. He was standing in the queue before a grocery shop when the Russian army fired at people."

"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. We convey our deepest condolences to the family," tweeted the External Affairs Ministry.

The 21-year-old, who was a final year student at Kharkiv National Medical University, hailed from Chalageri village of Haveri district in Karnataka.

Naveen's father Shekar Gowda expressed his anguish over the worsening medical education system in India. "Despite scoring 97 per cent in pre- University course (PUC), my son could not secure a medical seat in the State. To get a medical seat one has to give crores of rupees and students are getting the same education abroad spending less money," he told newsmen.

COMMENT: "My son could not secure a medical seat in the State" because of the appalling conditions prevailing in the country, Naveen's father regretted. True. With crude agendas of educational reforms being perpetrated at every change of the guard, the degenerating education scenario has hit the bottom in the country. Deserving students have to go begging overseas for meaningful education. Even that is sought to be stopped!

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