Stranded Kashmiri students in Agra want to return home

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Stranded Kashmiri students in Agra want to return home
Agra: Over a dozen Kashmiri students, who have been stranded in Agra due to the lockdown, have now sought the help of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to return to their homes in Kashmir.

The students are studying in the Agra University and have been staying in rented accommodations in the Naseerabad colony of Khandari area in the city.

They had stayed back due to their examinations in March.

The students, including four women, are aged between 19 and 25 years.

“We had no clue that the lockdown would last so long and the situation would worsen here in Agra also in terms of the coronavirus outbreak. We have run out of money and food supplies, the banks are not working, going out is a risk because the city is a COVID-19 hotspot and back home our families are also worried for us,” said one of the students, Manzoor Wani.

Wani, pursuing MSc. in Forestry, said the Agra administration has been helpful in providing them food packets but also claimed that three of the students had fallen ill with diarrhea after consuming “poori-sabzi” around a week ago.

“After that we requested for dry ration and got some rice. For five days, we had just rice and salt,”, he said.

The 12 students belong to Ganderbal, Handwara, Kulgam, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, and Budgam districts in Jammu and Kashmir, and now want the Chief Minister to arrange for their return to their state.

Wani said that he had made several calls to the district administration in Agra but got no response.

A senior district official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It is not in our hands to arrange for their return to Kashmir. We can only provide them food which we are doing.”

Meanwhile, the students have also contacted Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday who assured help to the Kashmiri students stranded in Agra.

“A reassuring piece of information for anxious parents in Jammu and Kashmir. The 376 J&K students in Kota set to return tomorrow. All arrangements finalised. The Narendra Modi government stands committed to the well-being of these youngsters,” Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office posted on Facebook on Sunday.

Wani commented on the post, “Hundreds of J&K students who had been stranded in Kota Rajasthan have started their journey towards home state today. Sir What about us — those stuck in Agra, UP, Sir cases are increasing here day by day. Please evacuate us as soon as possible.”

In response to this comment, the Minister wrote, “Sure Manzoor Wani. One by one. As soon as possible.”

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