The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Centre to get in touch with the Indian students stranded in Bangladesh amid the Coronavirus lockdown and ensure they are provided with basic facilities and medical attention.
The High Court also directed the Centre to ask its nodal officers to contact all the medical colleges where Indian students are residing temporarily and to ensure that they are given proper meals. The matter will be heard on April 3.
The petition was filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal and the hearing took place via video conferencing. Bansal said that he is in touch with the citizens through Twitter and WhatsApp.
The petition sought directions to the Ministry of External Affairs to rescue the Indian medical students who are stuck in Bangladesh due to COVID-19 lockdown. It also seeks the appointment of Nodal Officers in all the Indian embassies who can share their contact information so that people can reach out for help. In his petition, Bansal said that he had received many calls seeking help in rescuing Kashmiri students who are facing trouble in Bangladesh during the lockdown.
"It has been learned that there are around 581 such students in Bangladesh whose welfare and wellbeing is at stake and looking for help from the Indian authorities," the plea said.
A group of 70 students had left for Kashmir after Bangladesh ordered the closure of varsities in the wake of Coronavirus spread. The students said the embassy conveyed to the Bangladesh government and asked the authorities at their colleges to open hostels for them. The distressed students said it was not safe for them to continue their stay in Bangladesh as there were not enough facilities and other safety measures to deal with the Coronavirus crisis.
“We were stranded on roads for two days and on Tuesday evening, we were asked by officials from the Indian embassy to return to our colleges in Bangladesh. Despite our pleas, they didn’t allow us to enter India,” said a student.
To mitigate the coronavirus pandemic, Government of India has already suspended all international and domestic flights, besides sealing borders and entry points. Furthermore, the students said Bangladesh will undergo lockdown from Wednesday which will make their stay more difficult.