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Taliban target Indian consulates; MEA updates 24x7 special Afghanistan cell

India has asked its nationals in Afghanistan, who seek assistance, to contact its special cell immediately amid speculation that an Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft is likely to take off today from Kabul for New Delhi.

Taliban target Indian consulates; MEA updates special Afghanistan cell-VPN
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Kabul, First Published Aug 20, 2021, 12:38 PM IST
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India has asked its nationals in Afghanistan, who seek assistance, to contact its special cell immediately amid speculation that an Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft is likely to take off today from Kabul for New Delhi.

Meanwhile, reports from Kandhar and Herat provinces said that the Indian consulates have been targeted by the Taliban.

Also Read: Indian expat who advised Afghanistan govt says Taliban are more brutal than ever now

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in a Twitter post said, "We urge all Indian nationals in Afghanistan requiring assistance to contact our Special Afghanistan Cell immediately, if not done so already."

In one of his tweets, he also mentioned the contact details of the Afghanistan Cell. 

Additional numbers have been added to the MEA's 24x7 Special Afghanistan Cell. 

The updated numbers are: +91-11-49016783, +91-11-49016784, +91-11-49016785 WhatsApp numbers: +91 8010611290, +91 9599321199, +91 7042049944 

Indian can also contact via email at SituationRoom@mea.gov.in.

Aso Read: Taliban's Afghanistan takeover: 'There seems much more to all this than what meets the eye'

Indian officials are, however, tight-lipped about the evacuation process. 

The Indian embassy in Afghanistan is functioning with local Afghan staff. India has already withdrawn its diplomats and others staff following the downfall of the democratically-elected government in Afghanistan. 

So far, India has carried out the evacuation process in two phases with the repatriation of around 170-180 Indians, including Ambassador Rudnendra Tandon.

After seizing the country, the Taliban had assured the global community that there would be no danger to diplomats and foreign nationals. 

Also Read: 'Taliban were barbaric 20 years ago, and they are the same even now'

Despite that assurance, as per the reports from Kandhar and Herat provinces, the Indian consulates have been targeted by the Taliban. However, these two consulates are closed for the time being. 

As per the reports, the Taliban searched the offices and took away some documents and vehicles. 

On August 19, Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar and his US counterpart held a discussion on the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. 

Also Read: 'Taliban will show their real face soon; my land is in the hands of animals'

The two leaders agreed to continued coordination. 

The evacuation team has been struggling with the coordination process in the wake of the non-presence of Indian staff at its embassy. The aircraft was parked at Kabul airport for the last 4 days but couldn’t take off due to lack of coordination. 

Around 320 Sikhs and Hindus have taken shelter in a Gurudwara at Kabul. These stranded people want to fly to India.  

Talking to Asianet Newsable, Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee President Manjinder Singh Sirsa said, “The people are in shelters have been provided security. Indian foreign ministry is proactively working for them. We are in regular touch with our government and people in Kabul. They have got moral support from India. The government is working on a mechanism as how to evacuate these people.” 

Also Read: 'I am waiting for Taliban to come for people like me and kill me,' says Afghan female mayor

After the collapse of the democratic-elected government under Ashraf Ghani collapsed and advances gained by the Taliban in 33 of 34 provinces, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated as the foreign nationals as well as many Afghans desire to leave the country. 

On humanitarian grounds, India has started an e-emergency Visa for Afghanistan nationals, who seek to come to India.

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