Srinagar, Mar 4: The family members of the Kashmiri students pursuing education in Iran Wednesday demanded the government to ensure an early return of their dear ones as their lives were in danger due to the outbreak of deadly coronavirus.
The family of a PhD student studying at a university in Tehran city appealed government to bring home more than 300 Kashmiri students stranded since the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the country.
The novel Coronavirus outbreak, which was first reported from Wuhan China, has now spread to various countries including Iran with nearly 3000 deaths reported from China alone while nearly a million have been infected.
During last three weeks, all the educational institutions are closed in Iran . More than 300 Kashmiri students are confined to their hostels. The stranded students blamed that no effort has been made by the government for their evacuation.
“My son, a student, is currently in Tehran for PhD degree in computer science along with other students, and now they have been stranded there. If not immediately brought back, they could may get infected with the deadly coronavirus,” Mohammad Rizvi of HMT told the Kashmir News Trust.
Another parent Bashir Ahmad said: “Since the outbreak of the deadly virus in Iran, my daughter has talked several times to me, stressing to compel the government to ensure stranded students immediate return as they could face food shortage with the passage of time too,” said Ahmad.
He recalled that his daughter said that the health of other students was deteriorating with every passing day since the coronavirus outbreak in Iran and now they fear fatal consequences.
“We appeal Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu to push efforts for bringing back stranded Kashmiri students from Iran as they could also suffer fatal consequences if left there at the mercy of the deadly virus,” he added.
“For God’s sake, we request from the government representatives please bring back our children, please listen to a father’s grievance,” one protester, who declined to give his name, told media while bursting into tears. The protesters chanted “bring back our children” and held up banners with the same message.
The family members of the students staged a protest here in the press colony Srinagar on Wednesday to seek a safe return of the students studying in Iran. They told the reporters the Kashmiri students stranded in Iran were facing food and medicine shortage and even clean drinking water. The protesters asked the government to shoulder its responsibilities and bring back the Kashmiri students stranded in Iran.
A PhD student in Iran said he was finding it hard to receive scholarship payments, leaving them unable to afford food and bottled water from their university’s food delivery service while in lock down.
What have made the entire situation more distressing is what parents feel is inaction on the part of authorities, in contrast to governments around the world that moved swiftly to get their citizens out.
“Most of the countries were evacuating their citizens. Our country should have also followed the suit. When you are not evacuated you feel helpless and abandoned,” lamented a Kashmiri student from Iran.
A senior health official however termed the evacuation “a bad move”. “Evacuation can lead to heavy spread of coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir. We cannot declare it publicly because of the public emotions and pressures,” said the official.