Four Indian medical students drowned in a river in St Petersburg, Russia according to Indian missions on Friday. A fifth student was rescued by local people. According to a PTI report, the students were between the age group of 18-20 and were studying at the Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University located in Veliky Novgorod, Russia.

A female had waded on the Volkhov River, she got into trouble and her four companions tried to save her. In their attempt to save her, four of them drowned in the river.

The Indian missions were coordinating with Russian authorities to send their bodies to their relatives as soon as possible. The Consulate General of India in St Petersburg said these students were pursuing medical education at Veliky Novgorod State University and shared heartfelt wishes to the family. “Sincere condolences to the bereaved families,” the Consulate General posted on X.

The Consulate General stated that it is in contact with their university and local authorities and is providing all possible assistance. The Consulate General is also in contact with the district administration and the family of the deceased. 

The Embassy of India in Moscow said on X that they were working to send the bodies to the relatives as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the student who was rescued is being provided with proper medical care, including, psychological treatment. 

How The Tragic Event Unfolded

“The students were taking a walk near the city’s beach along the Volkhov River, in the evening, during their study-free time. The tragedy was accidental and unexpected.,” a university official was quoted by PTI.

The deceased students who hailed from the Jalgaon district in Maharashtra, were identified as, Harshal Anantrao Desale, Jishan Ashpak Pinjari, Jia Firoj Pinjari and Malik Gulamgous Mohammad Yakub. Another student, Nisha Bhupesh Sonawane, survived.

Jishan and Jia were siblings and hailed from Amalner in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. Harshal Desale belonged to Bhadgaon, also in the Jalgaon district. According to a PTI report, a family member stated that Jishan made a video call when the group had entered the river, his father and other family members pleaded with Jishan and others to come out of the river. This is when the strong water swept them away. Local people pulled a woman into safety.

The university’s representatives are monitoring her state closely and doing everything that is possible to help her,  the university official said.

“The university informed the parents immediately and is currently working closely with all respective agencies in the Russian Federation,” he said. The university has requested the Indian envoy for assistance in repatriation of the students’ bodies to India, he added.

The Consulate General said they were working together with the local authorities of Veliky Novgorod to send the mortal remains to the relatives as soon as possible. “The bereaved families have been contacted and assured of all the possible help,” the Consulate General said on X.

According to Jalgaon district collector, Ayush Prasad arrangements are being made to bring the bodies to India. He was quoted by ANI as saying they contacted the embassy in Russia and the consular general in St.Petersburg. “They have been very supportive to the family and we’ve been coordinating with the judicial as well as the police and disaster management authorities. Best medical care is being provided to the student whose life has been safe. We are hoping that the bodies will be sent back to India as per the international protocol,” he said.

The Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Randhir Jaiswal, in a tweet said, 


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