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Locked in, some with their lights off: Indian students in Kyrgyzstan | India News

PUNE\HYDERABAD: Indian students in Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek have offered chilling accounts in the wake of the violence there targeting foreigners, with most locked up in their rooms, institutes putting off exams and many desperate to return home. Most of the estimated 10,000 students from India in Kyrgyzstan pursue medical courses.
A second-year MBBS student from Maharashtra’s Beed said a hostel came under attack on Friday night barely 2.5km from his place.”Video clips are circulated, triggering panic,” he told TOI from Bishkek.
Another youngster from Indore, a third-year MBBS student in the same college, said “it’s been over 24 hours that we have kept off the lights in our hostels”. Many of us could not even go to the canteen for breakfast. The college administration is delivering food in the hostel. We have been instructed to stay indoors.”
Matters were worse for students staying on their own. “If the situation does not improve soon, they will starve. Students are scared of travelling to college from the hostels after one of them was attacked by a taxi driver. We want to return to India,” the Indore student said.
On Saturday, fresh messages were being circulated by locals to mobilise crowds to target foreign students. Those from India and Pakistan have borne the brunt of the attacks, which started after a skirmish between some local and Egyptian students. “The attackers are just going by the colour of the skin,” a student from Delhi said. Insiya Hussain, a second-year MBBS student at Osh, 350km from Bishkek, spoke of harrowing moments. “Our semester exam scheduled for Saturday was postponed.” Insiya’s father Amir Hussain, who lives in Beed, said she was supposed to return home after May 27. “We are constantly in touch so she does not feel alone,” Amir said.
A student from Telangana’s Nalgonda said she and some others had shifted to the university hostel from their private accommodation in Bishkek, 30km away. “Though there is security in the university, we are in fear because of hate-mongering in Bishkek,” she said over phone.
The Indian embassy in Kyrgyzstan advised students to stay indoors and call 24X7 helpline 0555710041.

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