168 more Indians, Afghans land in India from Kabul In special flight

A special repatriation flight by the Indian Air Force - carrying 168 passengers, including 107 Indians - landed Sunday morning at the Hindon air base near Delhi from Kabul

Aug 22, 2021
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Indians, Afghans land in India from Kabul In special flight

A special repatriation flight by the Indian Air Force - carrying 168 passengers, including 107 Indians - landed Sunday morning at the Hindon air base near Delhi from Kabul. There were 24 Afghan Sikhs, including two Afghan senators, among the evacuees, NDTV said.

This evacuation came  a week after the first batch of Indians - mainly the diplomatic staff at the Indian Embassy in Kabul - reached India.

"I feel like crying...Everything that was built in the last 20 years is now finished. It's zero now," a visibly emotional Afghanistan's Senator Narender Singh Khalsa told news agency ANI upon landing in Delhi.

Three other flights - Air India, IndiGo and Vistara - also carrying Indians evacuated from Kabul landed New Delhi from Tajikistan capital Dushanbe and Qatar capital Doha earlier in the day.

India has been allowed to operate two flights per day from Kabul to evacuate its nationals stranded in Afghanistan, ANI reported quoting government sources.

The permission was granted by American and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces which have been controlling operations of the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the Afghan capital fell to the Taliban on August 15.

Earlier, Indian citizens waiting outside Kabul airport for evacuation flights were taken to a nearby police station for questioning and checking of travel documents, a top government source said, amid worrying reports from local media that they had been abducted by the Taliban, which took control of the capital city last Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

The Taliban's 'picking up' of Indian citizens comes hours after an Air Force transport aircraft managed to evacuate around 85 Indians from Kabul.(SAM)

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