Tamil Nadu has directed officials to bring back the bodies of four students from the state who have drowned in a river in Russia, where they were pursuing medical education, Chief Minister E Palaniswami said today.
The chief minister said he has directed senior government officials to immediately get in touch with the External Affairs Ministry and the Indian embassy in Russia, and make arrangemnets to bring back the bodies of the four who drowned in Russia's Volga river.
The four were studying at the Volgograd State Medical University and died due to the 'current' in the river, Mr Palaniswami said in a statement in Chennai.
The four students have been identified as Mohammed Ashiq of Tiruppur district, R Vignesh from Cuddalore, Manoj Anand from Salem and Stephen from Chennai.
The students would usually go to the riverfront to refresh themselves, but this time they had gone into the river for a dip, along with seven others.
One of them entered the water. On hearing his cries for help, others tried to help him. Within few minutes all the four drowned.
"The senior students told us they immediately got in touch with the Russian emergency contacts," Anand Kumar, Stephen's uncle, said.
Expressing his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families of the students, Mr Palaniswami said he was "extremely anguished" over the news of the death of the four students on August 8.
The family of Manoj Anand had petitioned Mr Palaniswami in Salem on Sunday requesting him to take steps to bring his body back to the country.
The chief minister said senior government officials were carrying out his instructions on coordinating with the External Affairs ministry and Indian embassy in Russia to bring back the bodies.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)