21 Aug 2021: 150 Indians were questioned by Taliban, have now reached airport
Nearly 150 Indian nationals, who were said to have been "abducted" by the Taliban this morning, were actually taken to a police station in Kabul for questioning, top government sources confirmed to NDTV and News18. They have since been released and are now inside the Kabul international airport, the sources said, adding they will be airlifted out of Afghanistan soon.
Details: Taliban members took them to police station, checked documents
The Indians in question had been waiting for evacuation flights outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in the Afghan capital city, when they were taken to a police station for questioning and checking of travel documents. Earlier, the local media had reported they were abducted while traveling to that airport. A spokesman for the Taliban, however, had denied the allegations.
Evacuations: 85 Indians were evacuated today; another flight on standby
Reports about the "kidnapping" had emerged just hours after an Indian Air Force C-130J transport plane took off from Kabul with some 85 Indians on board. Now, another Indian Air Force flight (a C-17 aircraft) is on standby to fly to Kabul and bring back more Indians. It will take off as soon as enough Indian nationals are ready to fly out of Kabul.
Details: Nearly 1,000 Indians are still in Afghanistan
India has shut all its embassies in Afghanistan and brought back most of its staffers and security personnel. However, close to 1,000 Indian citizens are still in several cities across Afghanistan. They include some 200 Sikhs and Hindus who have taken shelter at a gurudwara in Kabul. The Taliban maintains it would not harm foreign diplomats and nationals.
Context: What is happening in Afghanistan?
The Taliban, a group of insurgents infamous for violence and infringing human rights, regained control of Afghanistan on Sunday. They had seized many key cities before reaching Kabul in a matter of days. Former President Ashraf Ghani also fled the country on Sunday. The group's return coincided with the United States' decision to withdraw troops after 20 years of war.
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