Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Tuesday that if the body of Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar, a medical student from the state studying in Ukraine who was killed in Russian shelling in Kharkiv on Tuesday, cannot be retrieved immediately, the External Affairs Ministry should try to bring back his mortal remains in the next two to three days.
“I am saddened by the turn of events,” he said.
Speaking to reporters, Bommai said that Naveen from Haveri was pursuing his fourth year in medicine in Ukraine. He was staying in a bunker since last week. On Tuesday, he came out to join others but got killed in an air strike, becoming the first Indian casualty in the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Two other boys who were with him also belong to Challageri village in Haveri district. One was hurt in the incident.
“Another student has escaped unhurt. The information has come from them while I have also spoken to the Ministry of External Affairs on the matter,” Bommai said.
“Naveen’s father is known to me and I have spoken with him. I know his family members as well. I am in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs to get complete information on chances of recovering the body. It is a war zone, and we do not yet have any information on the condition of the body of the deceased,” he said.
“I have spoken with officials in the PMO as well. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his desire to talk to Naveen’s family members. I have sent all the details to his office. He has spoken to them,” he said.