Rashid Paul

J&K HC directs GoI to initiate evacuation of J&K, Ladakh students from Iran

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Srinagar, Mar 04: J&K High Court on Wednesday directed the Government of India to initiate steps for evacuation of the children of the Union Territories of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh from Iran, the second epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Taking cognizance of a representation by guardian of a female student from Budgam district pursuing MBBS at Tehran University, Justice Rajesh Bindal directed the Ministry of External Affairs and other concerned ministries of the Government of India to initiate steps for evacuation of the Indian nationals including the children from the Union Territories of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh.

The guardian, Dr Zahoor A Mir, had requested the court that directions be passed to the government for taking steps to evacuate Kashmiri students, pilgrims, laborers from Iran.

Due to sudden outbreak of coronavirus in Iran, all air traffic has been suspended from Iran towards other nations including India. Hundreds of Kashmirs are facing the shortage of masks, medicines and other essential commodities due to a mass shutdown by Iranian government, read the application citing a communication from the Kashmiri students.

“My request is to save the children studying in Iran. Time is running out and they are losing hope as days are passing without any intervention by Ministry of External Affairs to evacuate the stranded students as was done in case of students stranded in Wuhan, China,” the representation demanded.

The court directed arraying different ministries of the Government of India and the J&K and Ladakh administration as parties and issued them notices on the matter.

All necessary and appropriate measures required for evacuation of the Indian students from Iran to India be initiated, directed the court.

“Given the nature of the infection, it is essential to not only anticipate the need for identifying the persons with the infections/persons who have been exposed to infection/persons who may be possible carriers of the virus but also to ensure appropriate and adequately equipped isolation and quarantine facilities, as well as make provisions for medication; equipment necessary for treatment; masks for the public and separation kits for medical experts and health workers,” it directed.

It called for taking immediate steps to ensure creation of isolation/quarantine facilities in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh.

It is essential also to anticipate and ensure availability of preventive equipments/medications and facilities for treatment of the infection, said the court.

Apart from the Indian students in Iran, measures regarding the virus require to be undertaken for the general populace in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh, said the court.

It is equally, if not more important, to equip, empower as well as protect medical and health experts, nursing and other paramedical and other personnel who would be coming into direct contact with infected persons, it directed.

The above steps cannot wait arrival of the infection in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, and must be initiated immediately and completed at the earliest, directed the bench.

The court asked the Government of India to act through its embassy in Tehran to ensure availability of the required materials including masks, medication and essential commodities including food etc. to all Indians, especially the students, who are stated to be stranded in Iran.

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