New Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for rescuing nine stranded Bangladeshi students from Sumy, the north-eastern city of besieged Ukraine and other areas.
At least two more Bangladeshi nationals are still stuck in Mariupol, shared Ambassador Sultana Laila Hossain, Bangladesh’s envoy to Poland and Ukraine in an exclusive interaction with The New Indian. Ambassador Hossain also thanked India for saving 10 Bangladeshi lives.
Nine Bangladeshis have been evacuated by India under its pilot evacuation drive Operation Ganga on March 9, and one Bangladeshi was airlifted on March 4. The nine evacuees are on the way to domicile via transit route in Poland. Two among the recently evacuated Bangladeshi nationals are minors — Zahra Rubaiyat Habib (10 years) and Umar Hayat Habib (6 years), said their father Rubaiyat Habib, who is leading the group of the stranded Bangladeshis in Sumy.
The remaining Bangladeshi nationals evacuated by India are: Foysal Mohd Ziauddin Khan from Faridpur, Dhaka, MD Rifat Bhuiyan from Brahmanbaria, Md. Sabbir Ahmed from Laxmipasha, Narail and Eva Farzana Aktar from Brahmanbaria. Ukrainian citizen Besedina Vitalina, wife of Habib, is also being evacuated.
Habib, an IT professional, has been living in Sumy with his family. Hailing from Chattogram of Bangladesh, he has been acting as the point-person for stranded Bangladeshis in Sumy. “The stranded Bangladeshi nationals used to call us everyday. They were struggling in the conflict zone of Sumy and Mariupol without food and water. The area was also out of electricity,” he shared.
“We are concerned about the two Bangladeshi nationals left in Mariupol. They have not been in touch with us for the past few hours,” Ambassador Sultana Laila Hossain told The New Indian, adding, “Bangladesh’s mission in Moscow and New Delhi approached Government of India to rescue Bangladeshi citizens,” Ambassador Sultana Laila Hossain informed The New Indian.
According to the source, around 700 Bangladeshis were in Ukraine, when the military retaliation began from the Ukrainian side against Russia. But over 500 Bangladeshis escapees from Ukraine entered Poland, Hungary, Moldova and Romania in the following days.
“Happy to inform that we have been able to move out all Indian students from Sumy. They are currently en route to Poltava, from where they will board trains to western Ukraine,” Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted yesterday.
Indian Mission in Ukraine yesterday also apprised in a tweet, “Yesterday buses arranged by Mission evacuated a total of 57 sailors including two Lebanese and three Syrians.”
India has rescued stranded citizens and students of Nepal, Pakistan, Tunisia and Turkey as well from Ukraine and neighbouring states. In addition to several fleets of civilian flights, several C-17 Globemaster aircrafts have been scheduled to bring back Indians and deliver humanitarian aid to war-torn Ukraine.
In a separate development, Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh met PM Modi on March 7 and discussed bilateral relations between the two countries.