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4 Indian students drown in Russia's St Petersburg, authorities seek repatriation of mortal remains

Local authorities in Russia managed to save the life of one student but four other Indian students from Maharashtra drowned in the river in St Petersburg. One body has been recovered and search operations for the three bodies are underway, according to Jalgaon District Collector.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee St Petersburg Updated on: June 07, 2024 14:41 IST
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St Petersburg: In an unfortunate incident, four Indian students have reportedly drowned in a river in Russia's St Petersburg area, while one student was rescued. The Indian consulate in St Petersburg is currently in touch with the local authorities to bring their mortal remains back to their families in India.

The four students from Maharashtra - Harshal Anantrao Desale, Jishan Ashpak Pinjari, Jia Firoj Pinjari and Malik Gulamgous Mohammad Yakub, were studying at the Novgorod State University in Veliky Novgorod city. Local emergency services have so far recovered two dead bodies from the Volkhov River. The search for the remaining two missing students is ongoing.

The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi termed it an unfortunate incident. "Four Indian students who were studying at the Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University located in Veliky Novgorod, Russia, drowned in an unfortunate incident in the Volkhov river. In the incident, a fifth Indian student was saved from drowning and is presently receiving medical attention," it said.

All of the deceased were aged between 18 and 20. Jishan and Jia hailed from Amalner in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. Harshal Desale belonged to Bhadgaon, also in the Jalgaon district. Jalgaon district collector Ayush Prasad said arrangements are being made to bring the bodies to India.

 

 

 

The incident was confirmed by Ayush Prasad, the district collector of Jalgaon in Maharashtra. He said that local authorities in Russia managed to save one student of the group, but the other four students tragically drowned in a river. "One body has been recovered and search operations for three other bodies are going on," he told news agency ANI.

"We, with the help of the Ministry of External Affairs, contacted the embassy in Russia and the consular general in St.Petersburg. They have been very supportive to the family and we've been coordinating with the judicial as well as the police and disaster management authorities. Best medical care is being provided to the student whose life has been safe... We are hoping that the bodies will be sent back to India as per the international protocol," he further said.

Local media reports said that a female Indian student, who waded out from the beach on the river Volkhov, got into trouble and four of her companions tried to save her.

The Indian consulate in St Petersburg also responded to the incident, saying that it is working with the local authorities in Veliky Novgorod to send the mortal remains of the students to their relatives as soon as possible. The Indian mission is also in touch with the families of the deceased and assured all possible help, while proper medical treatment was being provided to the girl student who was saved.

"Proper medical, incl. psychological treatment is being provided to the girl student who was saved. These students were pursuing medical education in Veliky Novgorod State University. Sincere condolences to the bereaved families," said the Indian consulate.

In a message to the Indian envoy to Russia, the administration of Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University has expressed condolences over the tragedy. “The students were taking a walk near the city's beach along the Volkhov River, in the evening, during their study-free time. The tragedy was accidental and unexpected. Nisha Bhupesh Sonawane survived. Now she is under the care of medical staff,” a university official said.

In June last year, two final-year MBBS students from Kerala drowned in a lake in Russia. They were studying at Smolensk State Medical University. There are around 25,000 Indian nationals of which a majority are Indian students studying medicine, the Indian embassy said, quoting the latest data.

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