Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said that the body of Naveen Shekharappa Gyanagoudar, the 21-year-old medical student who was killed in Ukraine’s Kharkiv city, will be flown back after shelling stops in the region, NDTV reported.
Bommai said he was informed by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar that Gyanagoudar’s body has been located and kept in a mortuary.
“The External Affairs Minister [Jaishankar] has informed us that Naveen’s body has been embalmed and kept in a mortuary in Ukraine,” Bommai told reporters, according to NDTV. “His body will be brought to India once shelling stops there.”
Gyanagoudar was killed on March 1 after he left a metro station in Kharkiv city to buy groceries while there was heavy shelling in the city.
Many Indian students had taken shelter in bunkers and underground metro stations as Kharkiv came under heavy attack from the Russian forces that invaded Ukraine on February 24.
On March 2, the 21-year-old’s father, Shekarappa Gyanagoudar, had said that the government had assured him that his son’s body would be brought back to India within two days. He had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bommai to help bring back his son’s body.
On March 5, Bommai had told the family that all efforts were being made to bring back the body of their son. He had also said that Gyanagoudar’s family would be given compensation.
The chief minister’s guarantee had come a day after a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Karnataka had made a controversial comment, saying that a coffin in a plane would occupy space that could otherwise be used for eight to 10 students stranded in Ukraine. Hubbali-Dharwad MLA, Arvind Bellad, had made the statement in the context of uncertainty over bringing back the remains of Gyanagoudar.