India is deeply disturbed by reports of the civilian killings in Ukraine’s Bucha town, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

“We strongly condemn the killings in Bucha,” the minister said during a discussion on the situation in Ukraine amid the Russian invasion of the country. “It is an extremely serious matter and we support the call for an independent investigation.”

His comments came a day after India’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, TS Tirumurti, called the reports coming out of Bucha “deeply disturbing” and called for an independent inquiry into the civilian killings.

The Ukrainian Army retook control of the key commuter town of Bucha, which is north of Kyiv, a few days ago and said it had found dozens of bodies after Russian forces had withdrawn.

Bucha’s mayor had added that streets are littered with corpses. “All these people were shot, killed, in the back of the head,” Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk told the AFP.


While Tirumurti did not blame Russia for the civilian deaths, this is the first time India has used such strong language at the United Nations Security Council meeting.

Addressing the Lok Sabha, Jaishankar on Wednesday said, “If India has chosen a side, it has chosen side of peace and it is for an immediate end to the violence.”

He added that the Indian government was against the escalating conflict in Ukraine. “In this day and age, dialogue and diplomacy are the right answers to any disputes,” the minister said in the Lower House of Parliament.

Stressing on the need for dialogue and diplomacy, Jaishankar said that “we believe that no solution can be arrived at by shedding blood and at the cost of innocent lives”.

Jaishankar also spoke about Operation Ganga, the central government’s evacuation mission for citizens stranded in Ukraine. “No nation evacuated its citizens at this scale,” he claimed. “Other nations are emulating India’s evacuation efforts.”

He also claimed that the advisories issued by Western countries had a “political agenda” but the Indian government’s evacuation served as an inspiration.

“Had our ministers not gone to those countries [those neighbouring Ukraine], we would not have got the necessary support for the evacuation efforts from their governments,” the foreign minister declared.

Though, the mayor of Romania’s Snagov city had said that India’s Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had spoken to students arrogantly at a shelter for people evacuated from Ukraine.

Students and educational consultants also told that the Indian government has vastly exaggerated its claims of evacuating students from Pesochin, a settlement on the outskirts of Kharkiv.

Students education

On Wednesday, Jaishankar said that India is in talks with Hungary, Romania, Kazakhstan and Poland to ensure students evacuated from Ukraine can continue their education there, PTI reported.

He also said that Hungary had extended help in allowing students to complete their medical courses at its universities.

He told the Lok Sabha that the finance ministry had directed banks to assess the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the educational loans of Indian students, reported PTI. “There are 1,319 students who have outstanding loans,” he added.

On March 21, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that it was looking into the petitions to allow students who have returned from Ukraine to continue their education in India.

Studying medicine in Ukraine is cheaper than in India. Medical degrees earned there are also globally recognised.

The returning students need to clear the qualifiers, which is also known as Foreign Medical Graduates Examination or the Medical Council of India Screening Test, to practice as doctors in India.