• Monday, June 24, 2024

ASIA

Bishkek violence: India asks its students to stay indoors; Pakistan PM expresses concern

A mob allegedly targeted hostels of medical universities in the Kyrgyz capital where students from South Asian nations such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh stay.

(L-R) Indian external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) and Pakistani prime minister Shehbaz Sharif (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Saturday (18) said the country’s government was monitoring the welfare of Indian students in Bishkek, the capital of the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, where a mob violence broke out targeting international students.

In a post on X, he said, “Monitoring the welfare of Indian students in Bishkek. Situation is reportedly calm now. Strongly advise students to stay in regular touch with the Embassy.”

https://x.com/DrSJaishankar/status/1791679193752944935

The Indian embassy in the Kyrgyz capital said the students have been advised to “stay indoors” and it was in contact with them.

“We are in touch with our students. The situation is presently calm but students are advised to stay indoors for the moment and get in touch with the Embassy in case of any issue…,” it said.

https://x.com/IndiaInKyrgyz/status/1791665904335409348

Pakistani students were also targeted in the attack and some posts on social media said three of them were killed in the violence. There were also allegations that some Pakistani students were raped.

Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed “deep concerns” about the situation and said he has asked his country’s envoy in Kyrgyzstan to “provide all necessary help and assistance” to the students.

https://x.com/Doctors__squad/status/1791760224753222064

“Deeply concerned over the situation of Pakistani students in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I have directed Pakistan’s Ambassador to provide all necessary help and assistance. My office is also in touch with the Embassy and constantly monitoring the situation,” he wrote on the microblogging site.

https://x.com/CMShehbaz/status/1791659518990102930

Islamabad, however, said it has not received any reports of fatalities or rape.

According to the Pakistan embassy, the situation worsened after videos of a clash between Kyrgyz and Egyptian students on May 13 went viral online on Friday (17). It also said that the Kyrgyz government officials confirming that there was no incident of death and asked the Pakistani students to stay indoors.

https://x.com/PakinKyrgyzstan/status/1791682997676036563

The mob allegedly targeted hostels of medical universities in the Kyrgyz capital where students from South Asian nations such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh stay.

“So far, a few hostels of medical universities in Bishkek and private residences of international students including Pakistanis have been attacked. The hostels are inhabited by students from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. There have been reports of light injuries to several students from Pakistan,” Pakistan’s Kyrgyzstan consulate said in a post on X.

“Despite social media posts about alleged death and rape of Pakistani students, so far, we have not received any confirmed report,” it added.

Both countries’ embassies issued emergency numbers for their students to contact if they required help.

Police in riot gear were deployed in part of Bishkek overnight as large crowds gathered in anger over an alleged fight between local and foreign people, The Times of Central Asia reported.

The incident appeared to reflect tension over the presence of migrants, many from South Asia, in Kyrgyzstan, it said.

The number of Indian students in Kyrgyzstan is estimated to be around 15,000. It was not immediately known how many of them are in Bishkek.

(With PTI inputs)

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