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Parents appeal Delhi HC for return of wards from Coronavirus-hit Iran

Court seeks Centre’s response

New Delhi, Mar 3: The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought the Centre’s response on a plea by parents of Indian students, including those from Kashmir, stranded in Iran due to coronavirus outbreak for evacuating them.

Justice I S Mehta issued notice to ministries of home, external affairs, health and aviation and asked them to file a status report on the steps being taken by them to evacuate the students.

 

Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, who appeared for the ministries, accepted the notice and said a status report would be filed on the steps being taken.

The court, thereafter, listed the matter for further hearing on March 11.

The petition has also sought directions to Ministry of External Affairs to provide basic medical aid and safety materials like masks and sanitisers to the stranded students till they are evacuated.

The plea, filed through advocate Miriam Fozia Rahman, has said that after the coronavirus infection was detected in various Iranian cities, several universities there decided to close down the colleges and hostel facilities and also cancelled the exams.

It said that students, some of whom are residents of Jammu and Kashmir, have been advised to return to their countries.

However, the Indian students were “shocked and surprised” when they found out that there were no flights to India from Iran, the petition has said. It also said that all efforts to seek help and support from the Indian Embassy in Iran “has failed”.

The plea has said that the government had recently arranged special flights to safely evacuate Indian students from China, Japan and Italy and has urged that similar steps be taken for those stranded in Iran.