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Coronavirus outbreak: Delhi HC asks Centre to submit response on plea seeking evacuation of students stranded in Iran

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Union government to respond on a petition filed by parents of Indian students stranded in Iran due to coronavirus outbreak for evacuating them.

A bench headed by Justice I S Mehta issued notice to Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Affair and Ministry of Civil Aviation and has asked them to file a status report on the steps being taken by them to evacuate the students.

The petition, filed by Miriam Fozia Rahman, 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 has said that after the coronavirus infection was detected in various Iranian cities, several universities had to close down the colleges and hostel facilities.

Iran has reported 11 new coronavirus deaths, with the death toll touching 77.

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 came to know that were no flights to India from Iran, the petition has said.

According to the plea, all efforts to seek help and support from the Indian Embassy in Iran “has failed”.

The plea also states that the government should carry out an evacuation operation in Iran, similar to the operations where special flights were arranged to safely evacuate Indian students from China, Japan and Italy.

The Delhi High Court has posted the matter for March 11.

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