TS students return from Manipur

HYDERABAD: After five days of anxiety and sleepless nights as a result of largescale riots in Manipur, 72 people, mostly students and civilians from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, who had been stranded in the violence-stricken state, returned to the city amid cheers and cries of joy from their loved ones at 2.45 pm.

Another 34 are likely to arrive in Hyderabad by Monday evening via Kolkata.

The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad was packed with parents who had been waiting for their children to return since Sunday night. They Telugu states' natives were flown back home on a special aircraft (6E 3165) that the government had arranged.

According to police, the state and AP governments worked with the Union ministry of civil aviation to arrange for two more flights for those still in Manipur, one destined for the Shamshabad airport and the other for Kolkata.

Over 50 government cars, 30 cabs sponsored by the state government, 14 TSRTC buses and 15 APSRTC buses carried students from the airport to their destinations.

The returneees thanked the state governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for standing by them. Manipur is home to various national institutions, including the National Institute of Technology (NIT) and the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), as well as medical colleges.

“There were over 100 students in our hostel; it was the worst nightmare with gunshots, bombing, and power outages; it was like a war zone. I panicked because we had no access to the internet after the riots began,” said P. Spoorthy, a mechanical engineering student at NIT Imphal.

“I had sent Spoorthy to Manipur for a better future,” her father, M. Ellaiah, a Suryapet native, said. "I never dreamed she would face such a nightmarish time.” He said the state government provided all the amenities, and the police kept the family updated.

K. Sai Kiran, a BTech third year student at NIT-Imphal, stated, "There was complete darkness, there was no drinking water or food, we couldn't step out for fear of anything happening at any time. It was terrible. The sounds of machine gun fire and bombs shook our rooms,”

“The worst part was that we had no idea what was going on and couldn't find a way out until rescue teams from the Manipur police, Army and social workers arrived and took us to a safe home,” said Sai Kiran, a Pargi mandal resident.
Vinay Chander, Sai Kiran's father, said the family had been monitoring the news on television to understand the situation in Manipur. "We were constantly attempting to coordinate with Sai and the college administration, but we were unable to do so due to a network outage," he said and thanked the state government as well as the police for coordinating with the Manipur police in rescuing their children.

Srinivas Naik, a resident of Chandanagar, Cyberabad, said he had sent his son B. Sandeep Naik to the now-riot-torn state a year ago to study B.Tech because the fees and accommodation were more affordable. "I thank Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao, DGP Anjani Kumar, and police officials who worked tirelessly to return stranded children to their home states," he added.

DIG (CID) Mahesh Bhagwat thanked the state police as well as officials from the AP, CISF, Army, Special Branch, airport police, DGP, and additional DGPs, for their efforts in rescuing the students. Minister Ch Malla Reddy reached the RGIA to receive the students. “I am glad our children are back. They have reached safely. We asked the students to trust us and stay brave,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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