Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar, an Indian medical student who died in Khakiv, Ukraine in shelling by Russian forces, on March 1, 2022 (IANS)

Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar, an Indian medical student who died in Khakiv, Ukraine in shelling by Russian forces, on March 1, 2022 (IANS)

Mortal remains of Karnataka student killed in Ukraine arrives in Bengaluru; CM pays homage

Bengaluru, March 21, 2022

The mortal remains of Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar, the Karnataka student who was killed during shelling by Russian forces in Ukraine's Kharkiv city on March 1, reached the Kempegowda International Airport (KIAL) in Bengaluru in the wee hours of Monday.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with his cabinet colleagues reached the airport and paid homage to Naveen.

Speaking to reporters, Bommai stated that a country's strength and might is known in a time of crisis. Prime Minister Narendra Modi "showed the might of the nation at this hour of crisis by bringing back the mortal remains of Naveen", he said.

"The body has arrived today and we have made all arrangements," he said.

"During evacuation time, our officers who were stationed at New Delhi, Ghaziabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru airports took care of students who returned from Ukraine. It was ensured that the students who returned from Ukraine reached their homes safely," Bommai added.

He said that a dedicated helpline was initiated within 12 hours of the crisis. The state officials kept in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi as well as the Embassy of India in Ukraine.

The government also created a WhatsApp group and a website to reach out to students stuck in Ukraine, Bommai said, adding that "the officials have done a good job".

He thanked the state, Indian, Ukrainian and Poland's officers for helping and putting in efforts to bring back the mortal remains of the Karnataka student.

"I am at pain that we could not bring back Naveen alive," the Chief Minister said.

"Our government stands with Naveen's family. We have issued the compensation, and we will see what can be done for his younger brother," he stated.

Health Minister K. Sudhakar, MP from Haveri Shivakumar Udasi, MLA Arunkumar and Congress MLC Saleem Ahmad were also present at the airport.

Earlier, in his letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Bommai conveyed his gratitude for the Prime Minister's efforts to help retrieve Naveen's mortal remains from Kharkiv.

Naveen of Karnataka's Haveri district had lost his life on March 1 in Kharkiv and his family have been "beseeching" the authorities to retrieve his body. However, heavy fighting in the area had prevented the retrieval till recently.

Naveen's family has said that the body would be donated to a medical college after last rites.


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