'They may shoot us,' says Malayali student in Kharkiv after Embassy leaves Indians on tenterhooks | Video

Malayali students
Hasna Iqbal (left) and Muhammed Nahid. Screenshots/ Manorama News

"They may shoot us," said Hasna Iqbal, a Malayali student stranded in Kharkiv, the northeastern Ukrainian city that is under immense shelling from Russian forces on Wednesday.

Talking to Manorama News from the Vokzal metro station in Kharkiv at 3.45 pm (7.15 pm IST), the second-year medical student in Ukraine said they are unsure of what might happen next.

The student's response comes hardly an hour after the Embassy of India in Kyiv issued a couple of advisories asking Indian citizens in Kharkiv to exit the city immediately.

The Embassy had reportedly acted in a haste based on Russian inputs. Vladimir Putin's forces had been launching heavy attacks on the northeastern city the last two days.

"I don't know what the Indian government wants us to do. Here there is a curfew from 4 pm to 6 am. If we are found outside during the curfew, they will shoot out," Hasna said, braving tears. "There is heavy shelling and on top of it, we can heare gunfires."

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Kharkiv has, possibly, the biggest concentration of Indians in Ukraine. "At least 1,000 Indians are here," Hasna said.

"Many have left by foot holding Indian flags. We don't know what has happened to them. Things are getting worse here," she said.

"Some of us reached the railway station at 6 am and three trains have left since. But not an Indian was allowed to board. They are giving preference to Ukrainians," said Hasna.

"We'll be here and hope to be safe, Insha Allah," she added.

'They aimed guns at us'
Another Malayali student Muhammed Nahid, who spoke to Manorama soon after, said they have not been contacted by the Embassy yet today.

"We reached the railway station at 5 am. They are boarding Ukrainians. They (Ukrainian forces) pointed guns at us and fired into the sky. We don't know what to do," said Nahid.

"We are still hanging around hoping we may be able to board a train somehow. We are running out of water and food," he added.

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