Srinagar, May 01 (KMS): Over 400 Kashmiri students stranded in Bhopal, the capital of Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, have said that they are facing severe hardships due to coronavirus lockdown.

Many of the stranded students told Srinagar-based media persons over phone that over 400 Kashmiri students are enrolled in different programmes in Barkatullah University, RKDF University, All India Society for Electronics and Computer Technology (AISECT) and other private colleges in Bhopal.

They said that many Kashmiri students stayed back in Bhopal for examinations, which were scheduled in March. With the corona outbreak, situations worsened and a lockdown was imposed across India. They asked the authorities of Madhya Pradesh to help them reach their homes in occupied Kashmir.

Zahoor-ul-Haq Shah, pursuing PhD in bioscience from Barkatullah University, said that they tried to contact every person possible in occupied Kashmir but none responded. I sent several emails to MPs and bureaucrats in the occupied territory seeking help to take them from MP, he said.

Every state government is taking steps to bring back their students stuck in different places across India but Kashmiri students have nobody to look forward to, Shah said. There is no cooperation from the side of the landlord, who calls me not less than 15 times within a day to collect the rent amount, he added.

Ishtiyaq Ahmad, a student from Indrapriyadarshini College, said with lockdown, the prices of ration have gone up drastically. Since Bhopal is already a hotspot of virus, it is risky to go out and collect ration and other essentials, he said.

Ishtiyaq lives in a rented accommodation and has now run out of money and supplies. My parents are unable to reach out to banks to send money because of lockdown, he said.

Ashfaq Mir, pursuing BSc nursing from SRK University, was doing internship from LBS Hospital but left the job because of fear of viral infection. Staying away from family during the month of Ramadan is a herculean task, he said. Mir said that they were under enormous mental stress and were drowning deep into depression.

Some 10-12 Kashmiri students are still staying in hostel of Barkatullah University with nobody to attend them. One of the students said they do not get food from the university administration. When they released the circular to vacate the hostel, lockdown was already imposed. It was easy for locals to reach their homes but they are stuck in the hostel.


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