Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting on the Ukraine war, the fourth since Sunday

In the meeting, attended by EAM S Jaishankar, Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, NSA Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and senior officials, the Prime Minister asserted that his government’s top priority is to ensure safety and evacuation of Indian citizens stranded in the war-ravaged East European country where an Indian national Naveen Shekharappa was killed during a shelling in Kharkiv.

Earlier, taking to twitter, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi shared information on the death of Karnataka’s student in the shelling in Ukraine and expressed condolences to the family.

“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,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet.

India has expressed its anguish over the death of one of its citizens in shelling in Kharkiv, an important city in Ukraine, where escalation of war has led to the killing of 352 civilians, including 14 children so far.

“The deteriorating situation in Kharkiv is a matter of grave concern. The safety and security of Indian nationals in that city is of utmost priority to the government,” sources said.

“We had already taken up with the Russian and Ukrainian Embassies the pressing requirement of safe passage for Indian nationals, including students, from Kharkiv and other cities in conflict zones,” sources further said.

“This demand has been repeatedly made to Russia and Ukraine since the beginning of this conflict on February 24. It has been conveyed to both their ambassadors in New Delhi as well as taken up in their capitals,” sources informed.

From the Indian side, the preparations for evacuation have been in place for sometime now.

An Indian team has been positioned in the Russian city of Belgorod, close to the Ukrainian border. However, the conflict situation in and around Kharkiv and nearby cities has been an obstacle.

“Therefore, it is imperative that Russia and Ukraine respond to our need for safe passage urgently.

In places where the conflict has not endangered movement, we have been able to evacuate our citizens.

More than 9000 Indian nationals have been brought out of Ukraine while a considerable number are now in safer areas, sources said.

“We will continue to make utmost efforts to ensure the return of our citizens stranded in Ukraine,” sources added.