India advises students in Kyrgyzstan to ‘remain indoors’ following violence | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India advises students in Kyrgyzstan to ‘remain indoors’ following violence

May 19, 2024 09:58 AM IST

At least 29 people were injured when mobs targeted foreign nationals in Bishkek on Friday night, according to information from the Kyrgyz health ministry

New Delhi: India on Saturday advised Indian students in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek to remain indoors following the targeting of foreigners by violent mobs.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar (File Photo)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar (File Photo)

At least 29 people were injured when mobs targeted foreign nationals in Bishkek on Friday night, according to information from the Kyrgyz health ministry cited by the local media. Kyrgyz authorities mobilised hundreds of police personnel to quell the protests against foreign nationals.

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The Indian embassy in Bishkek said in a post on X: “We are in touch with our students. The situation is presently calm but students are advised to stay indoors for the moment and get in touch with the Embassy in case of any issue.”

External affairs minister S Jaishankar said in a separate post on X: “Monitoring the welfare of Indian students in Bishkek. Situation is reportedly calm now. Strongly advise students to stay in regular touch with the Embassy.”

There were no immediate reports of Indian nationals being injured in the violence.

Hundreds of local men attacked buildings housing foreigners, especially students, on Friday night, apparently in retaliation for an incident on May 13 in which some Kyrgyz men were allegedly beaten by Egyptian students. Friday’s violence was reportedly triggered by viral videos of the incident on May 13.

The Kyrgyz foreign ministry said in a statement that “destructive forces are deliberately disseminating untrue and false information about the situation”  in foreign media and social networks. The statement singled out Pakistan for the spread of such misinformation.

Pakistani TV news channels had on Friday night run unsubstantiated reports of the death of several Pakistani students. Pakistani officials subsequently said five students were injured.

The Kyrgyz foreign ministry described the situation in Bishkek as “calm and under full control” and said all necessary measures had been taken to ensure security, peace and stability.

The foreign ministry said in another statement that Kyrgyz law enforcement agencies had taken prompt measures to detain both foreign citizens and Kyrgyz citizens involved in the violence on Friday. There were “no seriously injured people”, and some 15 people were taken to medical institutions for a check-up.

The cabinet of ministers of Kyrgyzstan strongly condemned “attempts to provoke violence and unrest on interethnic grounds due to the dissemination of untrue information on social media”.

Law enforcement agencies are conducting a thorough investigation into the violence, and all those responsible will be identified and brought to justice, the statement said.

“Any insinuations aimed at inciting intolerance against foreign students are unacceptable and do not correspond to the spirit of friendship and hospitality for which our people have always been famous...Our law enforcement forces will resolutely suppress any attempts to violate public order,” the statement added. 

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