Nagpur: Hubbali-Dharwad West MLA Arvind Bellad stirred up a controversy with his ‘dead body’ remark amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The family of Naveen Shekharappa, an Indian medical student who was killed in shelling in Ukraine has been waiting for the body to be flown back to India. However, BJP MLA Bellad said instead of a dead body, eight to ten students can be accommodated on the plane.
While responding to a question regarding evacuation of Indian students from Ukraine and Shekharappa’s body, he said that efforts are being made and if possible, the body will be brought back. “While it is very challenging to bring back those who are alive, it has become even more difficult to bring back the dead because a dead body will consume more space on the flight. Instead, eight to 10 persons can be accommodated in place of a dead body, which would consume more space,” he said while addressing the reporters.
Shekharappa was killed in shelling in Kharkiv while he was standing outside a supermarket. The death of the Indian student was confirmed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. He tweeted, “With profound sorrow we confirm that an Indian student lost his life in shelling in Kharkiv this morning. The Ministry is in touch with his family. We convey our deepest condolences to the family.”
The 20-year-old was a fourth-year medical student at the Kharkiv National Medical University in Kharkiv. As per a report by the Indian Express, Shekharappa’s hostel mate said that Naveen was shot dead at around 10:30 am in front of a grocery shop. “We have no information about his body and none of us were able to visit the hospital,” he added.
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai spoke to Shekharappa’s father and said that all efforts will be made to bring back his son’s body to India.