Nashik: 2 Maharashtra medical students drown in Russia’s Volkhov River, two missing

Nashik: 2 Maharashtra medical students drown in Russia's Volkhov River, two missing
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Two medical students from Maharashtra pursuing education at a university located in Veliky Novgorod, a Russian city, drowned in the Volkhov River near St Petersburg on Tuesday evening. According to the officials, two of their friends were washed away by a strong wave and are yet to be traced.  However, a fifth student who had also gone to the river with her four friends, was rescued.

Reportedly, one of the students, Harshal Desale, had engaged in a video call with his parents around 11 pm just before the tragic incident occurred. He had informed them about his plans to go to the Volkhov River. An hour later, the incident took place and he drowned in the river with another medical student. His parents received a call from the hostel at 7 am the next day informing them that Harshal had not returned. They made several calls and a few hours later, the university told them that Harshal had drowned in the river. Harshal being their only son, grief took over his parents. Harshal had only been in Russia for five months and the family is now waiting to receive his body.

The families of the missing students are living on the edge currently and are eagerly waiting to get further updates. They are unable to sleep or eat as their children are yet to be traced. According to Ashpak, the father of Jishan Pinjari, his niece (Jia Pinjari) wanted to become a doctor. They both were good at studies and wanted to pursue MBBS. They left for Russia in September last year. Before the incident, Jishan had also made a video call to his father. His mother had told him to get Jia out of the water and return to their hostel during the call.

All of them studied at Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University. The bodies of Harshal Desale (19, Bhadgaon taluka resident) and Malik Gulamgous Mohammad Yakub (21), were recovered. The fifth rescued student was identified as Nisha Bhupesh Sonawane (19). According to Harshal’s uncle, Nisha is from Pune and Malik was from Mumbai. According to the University official, they were taking a walk near the city’s beach along the Volkhov River in their free time when the tragedy struck. Russian media reports suggest that four of the students tried to save their companion, Nisha Sonawane, who had gotten into trouble in the river. In their attempt to save her, three others ended up drowning. Nisha was waded out from the bank near the river and was rescued. 

As stated by Jalgaon district collector Ayush Prasad, cousins Jia Pinjari (20) and Jishan Pinjari (20), from Amalner taluka of Jalgaon district are yet to be traced. While Nisha is admitted to Novgorod Regional Clinical Hospital.