As many as 41 Keralites, including women and children, presently in Afghanistan have contacted the Non-Resident Keralite Affairs (Norka) Department and sought help for their immediate evacuation, a state government official said on Tuesday.
Principal Secretary K. Elangovan, who heads the Norka department, said that he has written to Ministry of External Affairs’ Secretary (Consular, Passport and Visa services and Office of International Affairs) Sanjay Bhattacharyya seeking immediate evacuation of the Keralites.
“We have been receiving large number of panic calls from Afghanistan seeking immediate evacuation from Afghanistan. Some of the messages received here stated that the Talibans are verifying the identity of the stranded Indians and are taking away their passports and other important documents,” he told Bhattacharya.
“Considering the huge threat that is hanging on the lives of the Malayalees, you may kindly make necessary arrangements to safely evacuate the 41 stranded Malayalees as soon as possible,” he added in a letter.
It was also reported that about a dozen Indians including several women from Kerala, who travelled to Afghanistan to fight for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in 2016, are among hundreds of jihadis freed by Taliban from Kabul’s two prisons, Pul-e-Charkhi and Badam Bagh, an initial assessment by Indian counterterrorism and intelligence agencies revealed.
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