Mrunal Manmay Dash

Indian citizens, including students, who managed to escape certain death by fleeing from the war-ravaged cities of Ukraine, which have become graveyards, thank the government and their stars on reaching home.

Subhrakanta Lenka from Malpatna village under Kendrapara’s Aul Police limits is one such lucky student who walked almost 35 kilometres to reach an evacuation camp near the Polish border.

Lenka was pursuing first year MBBS courses at the Ternopil National Medical University near the capital city of Kiev.

Speaking to OTV, Lenka said, “On February 24 morning, we got the news of the Russian strike at Kyiv airport. I was scared. The emergency siren wailed the same night when we were having dinner in our hostel room. The warden asked us to move to the bunker underneath the hostel and spend the night there.”

“The next day, a bus was arranged and we set out for the Polish border. But due to huge traffic congestion near Lviv, we were dropped off approximately 35 kilometres away from the camp. We had to walk all along carrying our luggage,” said Lenka.

Confirming to the reports of Ukrainian forces torturing Indian students enroute border posts for evacuation, Lenka said, “It is true that the police and Ukrainian security forces were rude to us and at times they even resorted to manhandling.”

His father, Umakanta Lenka who was relieved after getting his son back home, said, “I was at peace only after my son crossed the Poland border and got on a flight to Delhi. The Central government brought him back to Delhi and then the State government helped him reach Bhubaneswar.”

“I profusely thank both the Centre and the State for helping in my son’s evacuation,” said Umakanta with gratitude.

Earlier in the day, as many as 77 stranded students from Odisha arrived at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar by a special flight.

As per reports, the students who were mostly holed up in Kharkiv, took off from an airport in Poland with the help of the Indian Embassies in Ukraine and Poland and arrived in Delhi on Monday morning. They were then brought to Bhubaneswar by another flight in the evening.