Two flights carrying Indians evacuated from Kabul landed in Delhi from Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe and Qatar’s Doha this morning. A third special repatriation flight by the Indian Air Force – carrying 168 passengers, including 107 Indians – is on its way to Delhi from Kabul.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi posted pictures of the evacuation efforts on Twitter.
IAF special repatriation flight with 168 passengers onboard, including 107 Indian nationals, is on its way to Delhi from Kabul. pic.twitter.com/ysACxClVdX
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) August 22, 2021
In a string of tweets earlier, Mr Bagchi posted details of the evacuation efforts by Air India and IndiGo flights. He also posted a short video clip where the evacuees can be seen chanting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, adding more evacuation flights will follow.
Bringing Indians home from Afghanistan!
AI 1956 carrying 87 Indians departs from Tajikistan for New Delhi. Two Nepalese nationals also evacuated.
Assisted and supported by our Embassy @IndEmbDushanbe.
More evacuation flights to follow. pic.twitter.com/YMCuJQ7595
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) August 21, 2021
All passengers will have to undergo an RT-PCR test upon landing, said a top government source.
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.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar this week said the government is “very carefully” monitoring the situation in Kabul and Afghanistan, but that the immediate focus is on safely evacuating all citizens.
India has evacuated all embassy staff but an estimated 1,000 citizens remain in several Afghan cities.