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Over 200 Indians, including embassy staff, stuck in Kabul; 200 Sikhs ‘stuck’ in gurdwara

Over 200 Indians, including diplomatic staff and paramilitary security personnel,  are yet to be evacuated from Afghanistan's capital Kabul, sources have told NDTV

Aug 16, 2021
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Afghanistan (File)

Over 200 Indians, including diplomatic staff and paramilitary security personnel,  are yet to be evacuated from Afghanistan's capital Kabul, sources have told NDTV.

An Indian aircraft is parked at the chaotic Kabul airport, sources said, adding the big concern is how to safely bring the staff from the Indian mission compound to the airport. The Taliban has enforced a curfew in the city, they said.

The Indians stranded in Kabul include some 100 personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police or ITBP, tasked with protecting the Indian mission in Afghanistan.

The Afghan airspace has been closed to commercial flights after thousands of desperate people overran the tarmac this morning in the hope of getting out of the war-torn country, a day after the Taliban took control of the city. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has already left the country.

Questions are being raised on why the Indian mission staff were not evacuated in the last three-four days when the situation on the ground was changing fast, NDTV said. The missions of other nations in the war-torn country had been thinning out when Taliban started taking city after city before encircling Kabul and entering the city on Sunday.

As unprecedented scenes of turmoil emerge, triggering concerns and appeals worldwide about the safety of foreigners as well as locals, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also made an urgent request about the evacuation of 200 Sikhs stuck in a gurdwara.

"Urge @DrSJaishankar, MEA, GoI, to arrange for immediate evacuation of all Indians, including around 200 Sikhs, stuck in a Gurudwara in Afghanistan after the #Taliban takeover. My govt is willing to extend any help needed to ensure their safe evacuation. @MEAIndia (sic)," the Punjab Chief Minister tweeted, asking Foreign Minister S Jaishankar for help.

On Sunday, Amarinder Singh had said that there was a need to reman extra vigilant at all borders of the country, saying Afghanistan's "fall" to the Taliban "does not augur well" for India.

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