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Tragic Drowning Incident Claims Lives of Four Indian Students in Russia’s Volkhov River

Russian authorities have successfully recovered the bodies of four Indian students who tragically lost their lives in a drowning incident in the Volkhov River, a Maharashtra Government official confirmed on Saturday. This grave news has sent ripples across both Russia and India, affecting not only the families of the deceased but also the broader communities that they were part of.

The incident transpired on June 4, when a group of Indian students decided to visit the scenic Volkhov River. Unfortunately, what was meant to be a day of relaxation and enjoyment turned into an unfathomable tragedy. The students, all enrolled at Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University, were enjoying their day by the river when things took a tragic turn.

The young lives lost in this tragic incident were Harshal Anantrao Desale, Jishan Ashpak Pinjari, Jia Firoj Pinjari, and Malik Gulamgous Mohammad Yakub, all aged between 18 and 20. The shockwaves of this incident were even more profound because of the age and potential of these young individuals.

Jalgaon district collector Ayush Prasad reported that the bodies of the four students were recovered in separate operations. The search for the missing students was fraught with difficulties and took time due to the strong currents and murky waters of the Volkhov River. Two bodies were found within the first two days following the incident. However, the search efforts to retrieve the remaining two bodies continued for several more days, ultimately leading to their recovery recently.

The bodies are now being transported to Mumbai from Russia. From Mumbai, they will be sent to their respective hometowns in the Jalgaon district for their final rites. The state government has made arrangements to ensure that all protocols are followed during the transport and handover of the bodies to their grieving families.

The accident also affected another student from the same group, Nisha Bhupesh Sonawane, who miraculously survived and is currently under medical care. Nisha’s condition has been continuously monitored, and she is receiving the necessary psychological support to help her cope with the trauma.

Upon receiving news of the incident, the Indian Embassy in Russia swiftly moved into action, coordinating with local authorities and the University to manage the situation and offer support to the students’ families.

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. The embassy has stated that there will be a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident.

The parents and families of the deceased students are understandably devastated, and the local community in Maharashtra has come together to offer their support during this extraordinarily difficult time. Vigils and prayer meetings have been organized across Jalgaon district, where the young men hailed from, as the community grapples with the collective grief.

This tragic event has once again highlighted the importance of ensuring safety measures while engaging in water activities. Authorities are being urged to step up awareness campaigns about the dangers inherent in swimming in natural water bodies, especially for international students who might not be familiar with local conditions.

In light of the incident, Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University has issued a statement expressing their deepest condolences. The University emphasized that they will extend all possible support to the families of the deceased students and also announced that they are reviewing their safety protocols to prevent such tragedies in the future. Additionally, they’ve set up a helpline for students and their families to provide emotional support and necessary assistance.

Community leaders and officials are now urging students and people to exercise extreme caution while visiting natural water bodies. They emphasized the necessity for awareness programs focusing on water safety and first aid training, hoping that such educational initiatives can prevent future occurrences of such heart-wrenching tragedies.

As investigations proceed, both Indian and Russian authorities are committed to uncovering the exact sequence of events that led to this devastating accident. They aim to provide answers and possibly bring about changes that could prevent similar incidents in the future.

This unfortunate event has cast a long shadow over the promising futures of four bright students. It serves as a grim reminder of the unpredictability and perils that natural environments can often harbor. As grieving families await the repatriation of their loved ones, the broader community stands in solidarity, hoping to draw lessons from this tragedy to fortify the safety of all who seek education and better opportunities abroad.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited and is published from a PTI source.)