Indian student killed in Ukraine as he tried to buy food

Indian student killed in Ukraine as he tried to buy food By A Robin - March 02, 2022
Naveen S Gyanagoudar

Naveen S Gyanagoudar studied at the Kharkiv National Medical University

An Indian medical student was killed in shelling in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv after he left the bunker he'd been sheltering in to buy food.

One of his friends said Naveen S Gyanagoudar, 22, had spoken to him shortly before his death on Tuesday.

Thousands of Indian citizens are still in Ukraine and are pleading to be evacuated after Russian troops invaded.

India has launched an operation to get its citizens home but it's been facing logistical hurdles.

India's foreign ministry confirmed that Gyanagoudar had died in shelling in Kharkiv and said it was in contact with his family.

Many students in Ukraine have been tweeting that finding food and supplies has become difficult since Russia invaded last week.

"He called me at 8am Ukrainian time and asked me to transfer money to him because he wanted to buy more food for us," Gyanagoudar's friend, Srikanth Chennagowda, told BBC Hindi from a shelter under an apartment in Kharkiv.

The two medical students were in their fourth year at Kharkiv National Medical University.

Gyanagoudar left the shelter early in the morning, right after a curfew ended, to go to a nearby supermarket.

"I transferred the money. After 5-10 minutes, I tried to contact him and he did not take my call. I tried many times. Later, someone answered but spoke in Ukrainian, which I did not understand," said Mr Chennagowda.

Then he asked somebody in the shelter to speak to the person on the phone, and learnt that his friend had died.

"I could not believe it. I went to the supermarket and there was no blast," he said.

It's not clear where exactly Gyanagoudar came under attack.

Mr Chennagowda added that Gyanagoudar and the others in the shelter were planning to move out soon, as shelling was intensifying in the city.

Gyanagoudar was from Haveri district in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The state's chief minister, Basavaraj S Bommai, tweeted that he was "shocked" by the news.

"We are constantly in touch with the MEA [Ministry of External Affairs] and will make all efforts to bring back his mortal remains," he added.

Mr Chennagowda described Gyanagoudar as a "kind-hearted" and "brilliant" person.

"He scored 95% in his third year. He was a very studious guy and was also very humble."


By A Robin - March 02, 2022

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