sumy: 700 in Sumy still waiting; last leg of Operation Ganga begins | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Even as the government announced on Sunday that the last leg of ‘Operation Ganga’ flights have begun, the fate of 700 Indian students stranded in Sumy remained uncertain, with Russia and Ukraine unable to provide safe passage for their evacuation. The situation in Sumy in northeastern Ukraine, over 300km from capital Kyiv, remained tense with local authorities warning locals to brace for street-fighting.
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Official sources said food and basic essentials have been arranged for the students and they have been asked not to leave their hideouts till a safe corridor is negotiated. They have been told to be ready to leave at short notice.
The Indian embassy has asked all Indian nationals still in Ukraine and seeking evacuation to fill up a registration form, mentioning their location and other details. The Indian embassy in Hungary tweeted on Sunday: “Important Announcement: Embassy of India begins its last leg of Operation Ganga flights today. All those students staying in their own accommodation (other than arranged by the embassy) are requested to reach… Budapest between 10am-12pm.”


Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia tweeted: “Operation Ganga: We have successfully evacuated over 15,920 students via 76 flights. From Romania, 6,680 (students) on 31 flights. From Poland, 2,822 on 13 flights. From Hungary, 5,300 on 26 flights. From Slovakia, 1,118 on 6 flights.” Scindia, currently in Romania, is one of the four Union ministers in east Europe to facilitate evacuation of Indians.
A government statement said more than 2,100 Indians were flown back on Sunday from Ukraine’s neighbouring countries. “Under Operation Ganga, 2,135 Indians have been brought back Sunday by 11 special civilian flights… With this, more than 15,900 Indians have been brought back since the special flights began on February 22, 2022. Indians airlifted by 66 special civilian flights: 13,852. Till date, IAF has flown 10 sorties to bring back 2,056 passengers, while taking 26 tonnes of relief load to these countries, as part of Operation Ganga,” it added.

Among the special civilian flights on Sunday, nine landed in New Delhi while two reached Mumbai. There were six flights from Budapest, two from Bucharest, two from Rzeszow (Poland), and one from Kosice (Slovakia). On Monday, “eight special flights are expected to operate from Budapest (5), Suceva (2) and Bucharest (1), bringing in more than 1,500 Indians back home”.
India, however, remains concerned about the situation in Sumy as Russia accused Ukraine of rejecting its proposal for a humanitarian corridor from Sumy to Russian territory. With no train service in Sumy right now, the only option now is to evacuate the students by bus.
A ceasefire in Mariupol, 600km from Sumy, failed as Russia resumed its offensive, citing firing by Ukraine forces. The Indian students had on Friday threatened to walk towards the border on their own.
Ukraine claimed that it had been arranging transport for foreign students while also appealing to PM Narendra Modi to convince President Vladimir Putin to end the war. Ukraine foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said it was important to end the war for both Indian and global food security.

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