Indians hiding in bomb shelters

A helpline number, 1902, was opened for residents in AP to call and register the details of those stranded in Ukraine

Visakhapatnam: Most Indians who are near the Russian border in Ukraine spent a second day in bunkers and bomb shelters. Some others who are on the western borders are making their way to the borders of neighbouring countries from where they will be brought home.

Deccan Chronicle spoke to four Indians who were hiding in the bomb shelter of their apartment – Domino 2 at Kharkiv, 40 km away from the Russian border. Of them, Prasad Nampally and Ajith K. were from Telangana state, Aditya Srinivas from AP and Navya from Karnataka, whose father is an ex-serviceman.

Kharkiv is Ukraine’s second-biggest city and has seen the worst fighting. Ukraine resistance fighters are believed to be engaging Russian forces there.

Narrating Day 2 of kufe in a bunker during war, Prasad told Deccan Chronicle that all residents had shifted to the bomb shelter, which is available with almost every apartment. They were able to get food and water from outside on Friday.

“We give a message through this newspaper to the Indian government and our parents and friends that we are in the safe zone, so no worries. But, we request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speed up the process of evacuating our nationals from this conflict zone to any safe place, including neighbouring countries for time being,” Prasad said.

His friend Srinivas added that their location is close to the Russian border. The neighbouring countries of Romania and Poland are far away, nearly 800 km. The Indian government is asking the students to reach these countries by road, from where they will be flown back to India.

“The local government has urged all people including foreigners to join the war and weapons will be provided to them. Many Ukrainian nationals have voluntarily joined the war,” said an Indian student.

“Without thinking too much about the future, we are silently hiding in safe places like bunkers and bomb shelters,” the Indian said.

When contacted, an AP government official said that the Centre was sending aeroplanes to Poland, Romania and Slovakia from where Indian nationals in Ukraine will be brought back. The AP government also instructed all district collectors to open control rooms to collect data of the students from the families at home.

A helpline number, 1902, was opened for residents in AP to call and register the details of those stranded in Ukraine.

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