Mumbai, Feb 24 (IANS): The Maharashtra government expressed concern over the fate of a large number of students, businessmen and tourists from the state who are stranded in Ukraine as Russia launched military operations against that country on Thursday.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the Chief Secretary and others to coordinate with the Ministry of External Affairs on the arrangements being made for the rescue of Indians, particularly people from Maharashtra stuck in Kiev and other cities of Ukraine.
"The CM has expressed concern over the safety of the people who have travelled to Ukraine for business, education or tourism purposes. He has directed all concerned officials to keep track of their wellbeing," an official from the CMO told IANS.
Earlier, Higher & Technical Education Minister Uday Samant wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Minister for External Affair S. Jaishankar and others seeking their urgent intervention to bring back the students trapped there as all commercial flights have been closed.
Samant pointed out that there are around 1,200 students from Maharashtra and their lives could be in danger due to non-availability of flights and other resources for survival during the war-crises that have erupted there.
"The Government of India, in the past, has rescued Indians stuck in a similar situation in other countries. It is a kind request to urgently rescue these students and direct the concerned authorities to bring them back safely to the state," Samant said in his letter.
Besides Maharashtra other states like Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka and Haryana, have also sent similar appeals to the Centre seeking intervention on priority.
An estimated 20,000-plus Indians, mostly students are reported to be stranded in Ukraine, Europe's second largest country as Russia started pounding its former territory with bombs and missiles from Thursday morning.