by Khalid Bashir Gura
SRINAGAR: Amid the second wave of raging Covid-19 pandemic across India, the future of 100-odd Kashmiri medical students pursuing degrees in Bangladesh is at stake as they are stuck in lockdown in Kashmir while their universities have informed them that their exams will be commencing from May 31.
These students had returned to Kashmir last month as their exams were postponed on April 3. Back then, they were informed that the date sheet will be announced at least two weeks after Eid-ul-Fitr.
Basil Ahmed, a final year MBBS student said, “We returned on April 23rd this year. We had been informed there is a bubble pact between India-Bangladesh and flights shall continue, no matter what.”
He said that if they would have known that situation would take such a turn then they would have never travelled back home.
In order to get their case heard, the students had written e-mails to the Indian Embassy, Bangladesh Embassy, and Ministry of External Affairs but to no avail.
Nasir Khuehami Spokesperson J&K Students Association said they wrote to the External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar urging him to facilitate travel of over 100 Kashmiri medical students to Bangladesh.
“Due to second deadly wave of Covid-19 in India, hundreds of students returned to India recently and now all of a sudden the datasheet has been announced and the exams will begin from May 31, 2021,” he quoted from their letter to the union minister.
The students, he said, have to complete a 14-day mandatory quarantine as soon as they land in Bangladesh.
“The future of hundreds of students is at stake,” he added.
Khuehami requested External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar to take immediate steps to resolve the issue on “humanitarian” grounds and take immediate steps to make all possible efforts to facilitate their travel.
He urged the minister to direct concerned officials to act swiftly and provide necessary assistance to Kashmiri students, so that they may attend the examination on time, and not lose their precious academic year.