Desperate plea for the evacuation of families of 300 Kashmir students stranded in Iran

SRINAGAR: Anxious relatives of about 300 Kashmir students trapped on Monday in the Iranian capital hit by the Tehran coronavirus gathered in front of Raj Bhavan in Srinagar to plead with Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu to quickly arrange for his evacuation from an almost closed city.

One of the desperate faces in the crowd was that of Tariq Bazaz, whose son studies medicine at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences. I was disappointed that Murmu didn't know anyone. We would have liked to tell him personally how worried we are, but the deputy governor's assistants accepted our request and sent us back, Bazaz said.

Official sources said that the administration of the Union Territory, including BVR Subrahmanyam chief secretary, had transmitted information about Kashmir students stranded in I ran to the foreign affairs ministry and I was waiting for an update.

The students, most of them girls, have been confined to their dormitories for a week amid reports of the death toll in I ran shooting up to 66, the highest outside China. The I ran ian government has shut all educational institutions till April 23.

Medical student Mubashir Mir, whose family lives in the Jawahar Nagar neighborhood of Srinagar, has not left his university dormitory in Tehran in more than a week, said his older sister, Saima Mir. Your semiannual exams would take place in a few days, but it seems that even classes will not resume soon. Tehran airport has been closed and there is no exit for him unless the government intervenes, he told TOI.

Bazaz's son, Haseeb, told his family that he and the rest of the foreign students in the shelter wake up every morning feeling they are trapped in a desperate situation. “Our son is in constant contact with us by phone, but we are not sure how he will manage if the impasse continues. The Indian government should make the decision to evacuate our rooms from there as soon as possible, ”said the boy's father.

Mujtaba Shah, whose father Imtiyaz Shah is the principal of Government Polytechnic College in Kupwara, was to return to India via Sharjah before the Tehran airport lockdown, but the flight didn't take off. “I tried all possible means to get my son back home, but nothing worked out. I had bought an air ticket for him the moment all educational institutions in I ran shut down. Unfortunately, Sharjah airport wouldn't allow flights from Tehran to land. By the time I changed the route, Tehran airport was sealed," Shah said.

Ume Parvez, another medical student, was to be back home on February 25, but his flight was cancelled. "We are scared. Please do something for us. We just want a flight out of I ran ," he said over phone on Monday.

Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, is said to have made a personal appeal to external affairs minister S Jaishankar to get the Kashmiri students back home from I ran .

The Indian embassy in I ran has set up an emergency helpline — 98-9128109115 — for citizens stranded there. The Srinagar district administration has also set up a helpline for students residing in I ran .

“Indian students in Tehran can contact the embassy helpline. Given the large number of applications and emails, our helpline +919419028251 (Srinagar/Kashmir) will be operational 24 * 7 for any assistance. Grateful to @MEAIndia for the prompt response, tweeted Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, the deputy commissioner of Srinagar.