Kyrgyzstan Violence: From Causes to Current Status of Students and India’s Response

    Rioters in Kyrgyzstan attacked hostels where international students live after residents complained that officials were not punitive enough towards foreign students who had engaged in a brawl. Due to these conflicts, students especially from India and Pakistan are at risk.

    On May 13, a number of fight videos between Kyrgyz students and foreign students especially Pakistani and Egyptians spread on social media. The locals saw this as a violation of hospitality accorded to the foreign students. Local residents went on a protest on May 17 and stated that the officials were being soft on the foreign students involved in the brawl. Almost immediately after the fight, three students were taken into custody by the police; however, more violence erupted, this time directed at hostels where students from medical universities of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh were staying.

    India’s Response

    In response to the violence, the Indian embassy in Kyrgyzstan requested all students who were in the area to remain indoors and to keep in touch with the embassy. India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also advised students to keep in contact with the embassy for their safety.

    Kyrgyzstan’s Official Stance

    The Kyrgyz foreign ministry clarified that law enforcement had reacted in a timely manner and held that the situation was calmly being dealt with. They noted that everyone was okay and fifteen people had sought medical attention. The ministry appealed to the media houses and foreign missions against spreading false information.

    Medical Aid and Safety Measures

    The Kyrgyz health ministry noted that four Pakistani students were offered first aid, but one is still under treatment. To counter the violence, police in riot gear were sent out to control the situation in Bishkek.

    Impact on Indian Students

    There are about 15,000 students from India in Kyrgyzstan while the figure for Bishkek is not clear. Russia, Ukraine, Bangladesh, and Kyrgyzstan have become the most sought-after nations for MBBS aspirants from India due to the cost and decent quality of medical education.

    Pakistan’s Response

    Pakistan’s ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Hasan Zaigham, urged all Pakistani students to remain indoors. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif instructed officials to visit Bishkek to offer help to Pakistani students. Even Pakistani students have not lost any lives and a special flight with 180 Pakistani students landed in Lahore on May 18.

    Police in Bishkek are said to be maintaining peace and stability following the protests. The Indian Embassy is always on the lookout for ways to protect the interests of Indian students. It has shown how the students studying in other countries are vulnerable and require immediate intervention from diplomatic missions.

    The situation in Kyrgyzstan has caused concern about the safety of the international students. The governments of India and Pakistan are simultaneously making efforts to protect their citizens from the effects of unrest.



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