Over 160 persons have reportedly died in several days of unrest in Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest country, which has been rocked by a week of turmoil.
Internet services were resumed after five days in Kazakhstan on Monday, where 8,000 people have been detained by the security forces led by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The nation is witnessing a massive upheaval since January 2, when violence erupted in all the major cities against the government’s decision to hike fuel prices.
Responding to media queries on the recent developments in Kazakhstan, Arindam Bagchi, official spokesperson in Ministry of External Affairs, said, “India is closely following the recent developments in Kazakhstan. We express our deepest condolences to the families of innocent victims who have lost their lives in the violence. As a close and friendly partner of Kazakhstan, we look forward to an early stabilisation of the situation. Coordination with authorities has helped ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals. They are advised to follow local security instructions and get in touch with the Embassy of India for any assistance.”
Without naming anyone, Kazakhstan President Kassym Jomart Tokayev has accused some groups of staging unrest to disturb the democratic government, terming it as an attempted coup, after giving ‘shoot to kill’ order to restore peace in the country.
Tokayev’s statement was soon seconded by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said Kazakhstan has been targeted by international terrorism, and assured that Russia will not allow any kind of revolution or uprising in the region.
Putin said the way violence erupted in Kazakhstan clearly shows that it was pre-planned and led by trained militants believed to be trained and equipped by the West.
On the other hand, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken questioned the Kazakhstan government’s decision to seek Russia’s help in the country’s internal matters and allow Russian troops in Kazakhstan, where more than 2,000 Russian military personnel have arrived.
Blinken urged Kazakhstan government to respect the rights of the protesters after Tokayev called the protesters ‘terrorists’ and passed ‘shoot to kill’ order, which resulted in over 160 deaths so far.