Caught between armed locals and little help from embassy, Indian students in violence-hit Kyrgyzstan are desperate

The Indian Embassy in Kyrgyzstan said the situation is normal but advised students to remain vigilant. Students give embassy a reality check.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published May 22, 2024 | 12:09 PM Updated May 22, 2024 | 12:09 PM

The Indian Embassy could be contacted over the phone numbers, 0555710041 or 0555005538. (MEA Website)

Indian students in mob violence-hit Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, are desperately trying for air tickets to return to the safety of their homes.

The students are holed up in their hostel rooms or self-arranged accommodations in the city, reportedly without enough food or other essentials.

Targeted violence broke out in Bishkek after videos of a fight between Kyrgyz students and those from Egypt and Pakistan went viral on social media on 13 May. The locals, alleging lenient treatment of foreign students, have been targeting foreigners, especially, Indians and Pakistanis.

Indian students in Bishkek primarily pursue MBBS courses.

Related: Kishan Reddy urges EAM to consider special flights to bring Indian students back

Fly home, says consultancy

Local authorities have issued an advisory, urging foreign students to remain indoors.

Meanwhile, a consultancy catering to Indians, suggested the option of flying back home since the examinations could be conducted online. It asked students to adhere to the National Medical Commission’s guidelines.

Meanwhile, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs, urging it to consider operating special flights to bring the students home. “I request you to kindly consider organizing special flights to bring the Indian students back till the issues come under control,” he said.

Related: Telangana CM enquires about Indian students in Bishkek

Dial 0555710041 for help

A student, who spoke to South First over WhatsApp from Bishkek, said the situation was alarming.

“Right now, speaking to you, we are keeping the volume low. There are group of armed people around the hostel. We are told to leave but the tickets are expensive. We need affordable special flights,” he said without revealing his name.

The student said he hailed from Uttar Pradesh. He blamed the consultancies for not briefing them about the possible dangers.

Another student from Telangana’s Mahaboobnagar, too, said the situation was dangerous. He said the locals have been unfriendly.

“We are mentally disturbed and are taking antidepressants. We request a transfer since we don’t want to return here. The Indian Embassy announces that help is available and that everything is normal, but this is not the reality,” he claimed.

The student said Indian students faced harassment since the beginning of their college. “We are subjected to name-calling, racial slurs and are not allowed to use pressure cookers in our rooms, as locals knock on our doors if they hear any noise,” he said.

He wanted the Indian Embassy to address the issues the students face.

In an X post, the Indian Embassy termed the situation normal, but advised the students to be vigilant and follow the guidelines Kyrgyz authorities have laid down.

It further said it could be contacted over the phone numbers, 0555710041 or 0555005538.

(Edited by Majnu Babu).