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Nagpur: “Despite scoring 97% in PUC, my son could not secure a medical seat in State,” says father of Naveen Shekharappa, an Indian medical student who was killed in shelling in Kharkiv on Tuesday.

Shekharappa’s father further said that to get a medical seat one has to give crores of rupees. Naveen was a fourth-year MBBS student who died in a Russian attack in Kharkiv while standing in a queue outside a supermarket. The 21-year-old student hailed from Ranebennur taluk of Haveri district in Karnataka.

In yet another development, union parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi on Monday said that about 90 per cent of Indians who study medicine abroad fail to clear qualifying exams in India. He later said that this wasn’t the right time to debate regarding this.

Shekharappa was advised by his family to ‘place an Indian flag’ outside the building he was in. As per a report, the idea was suggested by union minister Piyush Goyal, who reportedly told them that both Russia and Ukraine had assured the safety of Indian students.

As per the telephonic conversation recording, Naveen’s grandfather is heard saying, “We have talked to minister Piyush Goyal. He said that there is a little problem. If we try to move from there, then rescue is possible. He has said that our government has talked to both the countries, and both the countries have assured them that nothing will happen to the Indians there.”

Sehkharappa 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.

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