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Published On: Fri, Apr 17th, 2020

Yogi govt sends 250 buses to Kota to bring 7500 students back home

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KOTANEW DELHI : As 300 buses set out of Uttar Pradesh today to pick up students stranded in Kota in Rajasthan, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called it “injustice” and against the principle of the nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Nitish Kumar, a key BJP ally, was vocal about his objection to the move by the Yogi Adityanath government, which he said would defeat the purpose of the lockdown at a time social distancing is critical and any gathering could exacerbate the contagion.

Besides, the Bihar government believes, it makes it look like states are facilitating students yet “making excuses” when it comes to migrants unable to return to their home states. “The way special buses are being sent to ferry students from Kota, it is injustice with the principle of the lockdown,” the Bihar Chief Minister told to a news  channel.
His government wrote to the central home ministry three days ago when a group of 300 students from Kota arrived in Patna, mostly in taxis, armed with permission to travel. “This will open up a Pandora’s box. If you allow students, on what grounds can you stop migrant labourers who are also stuck,” Bihar Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar said in the letter urging that special permits granted by the Rajasthan government be stopped.
Voicing concern about students returning in large numbers, at the risk of spreading the infection, Mr Kumar said coaching classes in Kota should be resumed in a staggered manner. The BJP govt. in Uttar Pradesh has sent buses from Agra and Jhansi to Kota, the hub of coaching classes that attract students from across the country preparing for competitive exams for engineering and medical colleges.
Thousands of students were stranded Thousands of in coaching hub Kota after native states refuse to let them in during lockdown. The district administration in Kota had earlier allowed the students to leave for their native states. However, in the wake of refusal by the states to let these students in, the permission was withdrawn on Tuesday, leaving several students stranded.

The students from across the country come to Kota to prepare for college entrance exams. Stranded students mostly belong to Uttar Pradesh (7,500), Bihar (6,500), Haryana (2,000), Maharashtra (2,000), Madhya Pradesh (4,000) and several others are from different states across the country.
A city of around 30 lakh, Kota is a hub of coaching centres and educational institutes where students go to prepare for tough entrance examinations to engineering and medical colleges after finishing school.
“The buses are being sent to bring back kids who are stuck in Kota. We are sending food, water bottles, masks and sanitisers. Each bus will be able to bring back 25 kids. Some buses will also be sent from Jhansi,” a senior government official in Agra said.
“As the UP government called back students of the state living in Kota, Rajasthan, it can also be done for students from other states. Students in Kota can be sent to their home states on the consent of the concerned state government so that these young boys and girls do not panic or feel depressed,” Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot said.

More than 13,000 people have been affected by coronavirus in India and 452 have died. Although the numbers are small compared with some Western nations, health experts fear that is because of India’s low levels of testing and that actual infection levels could be far higher.
(With Agency Inputs ).

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