New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Karnataka Minister for Higher Education Dr CN Ashwathnarayan on Tuesday condoled the demise of an Indian student, who lost his life in Kharkiv this morning because of shelling in the area while urging families of citizens stranded in Ukraine to stay calm.
Naveen Shekharappa hailed from Haveri in Karnataka and was a fourth-year MBBS student in Ukraine.
"Deeply saddened to learn about the sad demise of Naveen Shekharappa, 4th Year MBBS student from Haveri, Karnataka in the crisis zone at Kharkiv, Ukraine. May God give his family, friends and well-wishers strength to bear this irreparable loss. Om Shanti," the state minister tweeted.
Amid rising tensions in Ukraine following Russian military operations, the minister has urged families of the Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine to not panic and stay calm as the government is ramping up its efforts to evacuate Indian nationals.
"I request all the families of those Indians who are stuck in the crisis zone to remain calm. Authorities from the Government of India are in constant touch with students, Indians and Ambassadors for the safe passage of Indians from the crisis zone," Ashwathnarayan said.
Commissioner of Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) Manoj Rajan told ANI: "We have confirmed from MEA the unfortunate demise of Naveen Shekharappa in Ukraine. He was from Chalageri, Haveri; had left for a nearby store to buy something. Later his friend got a call from a local official that he (Naveen) has died."
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai spoke to the father of the deceased student.
"All efforts will be made to bring back Naveen's body to India. The CM said that the matter is being negotiated with foreign ministry officials," Karnataka Chief Minister's Office said in a statement.
The Union Government has launched 'Operation Ganga' to bring back stranded students and Indian citizens from the conflict-torn Ukraine.
The government has also deployed 'special envoys' to four neighbouring countries bordering Ukraine to coordinate and oversee the evacuation process of Indian nationals.
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri left for Budapest to aid the evacuation of Indian citizens stranded in war-hit Ukraine. Union Minister of Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju also left for Slovakia on Tuesday.
Union Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia will be going to Romania and Gen VK Singh to Poland, informed the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday. (ANI)