‘Please use your good offices’: SC asks A-G to help those stranded in Ukraine amid evacuation petition

The Supreme Court Thursday asked Attorney General K K Venugopal to look into a plea that some Indian students trying to flee Ukraine were stuck on the Romanian border as they were being prevented from crossing over, and see if they can be helped.

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A bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana directed that the case file be sent to the AG through a special messenger. Justice Ramana told the AG that there are many students in Ukraine and “some have come… Please use your good offices… We will send a copy by special messenger to AG. See if you can do some help”.

Senior Advocate A M Dar, appearing for the petitioner, told the bench also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli that his client, a student in Ukraine’s Odesa, is stuck in Moldova. Das also said that many other students are also stuck there without food and money in sub-zero temperatures.

Responding, the AG told the bench that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to both the Russian and Ukrainian Presidents. The government has also sent a minister to Romania to ensure that those who cross over from Ukraine are evacuated, Venugopal said. “So what I want to know is are they being prevented from crossing over?” he asked.

The counsel said they were being stopped and hence were unable to cross over.

“This is strange. So far as Ukraine is concerned, they are allowing everyone to cross into neighbouring countries,” said the AG adding he will look into the matter.

The government has launched a special evacuation plan, Operation Ganga, to bring back Indian nationals from Ukraine through its neighbouring countries. Thousands have been evacuated and more will be brought back, officials have said.

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