Indian students attacked by locals in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan


India has advised its students in Bishkek to stay indoors following reports of violence involving locals and foreigners in the Kyrgyz capital. The advisory comes after several Pakistani students were injured in hostel attacks by mobs.

The Indian Consulate in Kyrgyzstan issued a statement on X (formerly Twitter), saying, "We are in touch with our students. The situation is presently calm but students are advised to stay indoors for the moment and get in touch with the Embassy in case of any issue. Our 24×7 contact number is 0555710041." 


External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also urged students to maintain regular contact with the embassy. "Monitoring the welfare of Indian students in Bishkek. The situation is reportedly calm now. Strongly advise students to stay in regular touch with the Embassy," he said in a post on X.

Local police, equipped with riot gear, were deployed in parts of Bishkek overnight as tensions rose over an alleged altercation between local and foreign individuals, reported The Times of Central Asia. The incident highlights underlying tensions regarding the presence of South Asian migrants in Kyrgyzstan.

The Indian Embassy, in a separate statement, reassured that it is in close communication with Indian students and that the situation is under control. Estimates suggest there are around 15,000 Indian students in Kyrgyzstan, though the exact number in Bishkek remains unclear.

Despite some social media claims that three Pakistani students were killed, authorities have not confirmed any deaths. Both India and Pakistan have issued advisories for their students in Kyrgyzstan, urging them to remain indoors.

The Pakistani Embassy noted that the violence followed the circulation of videos showing a fight between Kyrgyz and Egyptian students on May 13. The hostels targeted by the mobs house students from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Pakistani authorities reported minor injuries to some of their students.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his concern on X, stating, "Deeply concerned over the situation of Pakistani students in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I have directed Pakistan's Ambassador to provide all necessary help and assistance. My office is also in touch with the Embassy and constantly monitoring the situation."

Local reports indicate that the violence was exacerbated by online videos of the altercation, which locals perceived as a severe breach of hospitality by the foreign students. Police have detained three students in connection with the May 13 incident, while mobs targeted medical university hostels predominantly occupied by international students.

There are approximately 15,000 Indian students in Kyrgyzstan, although the exact number in Bishkek is not immediately known.

Kyrgyzstan, along with Russia, Ukraine, and Bangladesh, is a popular destination for Indian students pursuing an MBBS degree. The country's universities attract international students due to the affordability and quality of medical education they offer. Additionally, degrees from Kyrgyzstan's medical colleges are internationally recognized, including by the World Health Organization (WHO).



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