New Delhi, March 27: The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Centre to explain steps taken by it to evacuate around 580 Indian medical students who are stranded in Bangladesh due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh, in a hearing conducted through video conferencing, issued notices to the ministries of external affairs and home affairs, and sought their responses to a plea seeking safe return of Indians stuck in Bangladesh. Coronavirus Outbreak: Supreme Court Seeks Centre's Response on Plea for Evacuating 850 Pilgrims From Iran.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on March 30. The ministries were represented through the central government's standing counsel Jasmeet Singh. Petitioner advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal sought direction to the authorities to forthwith take steps for safe and secure return of Indian citizens who are stuck in Bangladesh.
He said most of the students are residents of Jammu and Kashmir. The plea has also sought direction to the authorities to appoint nodal officers in the Indian embassies and make contact number and email of these nodal officers public so that the Indians who are stranded abroad can contact them and seek help in the time of the global health emergency.
The plea further said that the MEA be directed to formulate guidelines for a time-bound action by the nodal officers so that Indians can feel safe during this time. The lawyer said he has been receiving numerous calls from the Indian students who are studying in Bangladesh and stuck in their hostels and do not have masks and sanitisers.
The students told the lawyers that their mess is closed and they are left with a few snacks which may last only for a week and there are no facilities by which they can prevent them from getting infected. Coronavirus Death Toll in India Rises to 18 After 65-Year-Old Man, Who Tested Positive For COVID-19 After Travelling From Delhi, Dies in Karnataka's Tumakuru.
"As there is complete lockdown now so we would not even get any supplies. You have also closed doors for us. Please help us to reach back home. Even if we die, we would like to die in front of our parents," a student wrote in an email sent to Bansal.