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Chartered flight from Kabul to bring back stranded Indians

Chartered flight from Kabul to bring back stranded Indians

The Afghan embassy in India and the Indian government have worked together to arrange a special chartered flight to bring back over 100 people, including Indians, Afghan Hindus and Afghan Sikhs who are stranded in Afghanistan, months after the Taliban took over the country in September.

Guru Granth Sahibs and Hindu religious texts from the ancient Asamai Mandir in Kabul are also being brought along to keep them safe. The flight will evacuate the 102 passengers to India and will return with Afghan nationals who had been stranded in the country, according to a report by the Hindustan Times. No official word of confirmation has come from the Indian government.

90 Afghan nationals, most of whom had come to India for medical treatment, were left stranded after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The flight is also expected to carry medical supplies that are part of the humanitarian aid offered by India to Afghanistan.

The Indian embassy in Kabul has remained shut since the Taliban coup and Indians in the country have mostly fled to Europe and other Central Asian states via land routes. Airline services to Kabul were stopped on the day of the coup and a devastating suicide bomb attack that killed 180, including US soldiers ensured that it remained shut for a while thereafter.

Hundreds of Indian nationals, including diplomats and security personnel, were evacuated on special Indian Air Force flights during August.

Reports suggest that there may be plans for more charter flights arranged to bring back people from Kabul and send back hundreds of Afghans still stranded in India. Four special flights were recently arranged to take Afghan nationals stranded in India to Kabul via Tehran, but this arrangement was subsequently suspended as the cost was too high. Each traveller paid almost $850 for the trip - and most of the Afghans couldn't afford the fare.

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TAGS:Afghanistan crisisIndiaInternational flightAfghanistan evacuation
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