A gang of looters stabbed to death two Indian medical students in Ukraine’s Uzhgorod town on Sunday while a third was gravely wounded.
All three were from Uttar Pradesh and studying at Uzhgorod Medical College.
External affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said Pranav Shandilya, a final-year student from Muzaffarnagar, and Ankur Singh, a Ghaziabad resident who was in his fourth year, were fatally stabbed by three Ukrainians.
“Indrajeet Singh Chauhan, a resident of Agra and a third-year student, was also stabbed but is recuperating in hospital,” he said.
The 24-year-old Chauhan’s father, who owns a biscuit factory in Agra, told HT that his son and friends were attacked in their sleep. “My son is my only asset … He is in ICU and improving,” said Narendra Singh.
The assailants, including a woman, were arrested on the basis of Chauhan’s statement when they were trying to cross the Ukrainian border.
Passports of the three students, a blood-stained knife, a laptop, mobile phones and other valuables were reportedly recovered from the killers.
Shandilya’s father, Parmesh Sharma, said his 23-year-old son was studying in Ukraine since 2009 following in the footsteps of sister, who completed her studies there in 2013.
He was initially with a medical college in Lugansk but all the students were transferred to Uzhgorodh during the 2013 Russia-Ukraine turmoil, sister Kamakshi said.
Elder brother Mukul, an advocate in Delhi high court, came to know of the fatal attack from Amreek Singh, who had helped the medical student study in Ukraine.
Singh, a caretaker-cum-local guardian for Indian students, told the family over the phone that some looters attacked their son. He also contacted the Indian embassy in Kiev.
The embassy in Kiev has reportedly spoken to the families of the students.
“All necessary actions are being taken to complete the formalities for sending the two bodies to India. The embassy is taking up the matter related to safety of Indian students strongly with the foreign office of Ukraine,” foreign ministry spokesman Swarup said.
The wounded student’s 55-year-old father alleged that government officials were yet to contact the family. “Indrajeet is in Ukraine since 2011. He was here during his summer vacation and left in October.”
(with inputs from HTC Agra)