Taliban 2.0 regime in Afghanistan: Did the Taliban kidnap 150 Indians?

Amid the evacuation drive of the Indian government to safely rescue and evacuate the Indian nationals living in Afghanistan after the latter had fallen under the hands of the Taliban group last week, there have been shocking reports coming from Kabul since Saturday morning that the Taliban fighters had kidnapped hundreds of people who were camped at the airport and among these abducted people include several Indians.

Multiple Afghan news agencies had thrown weight to the shocking incident that Indians were kidnapped by the extremist group. These people were staying at the airport with desperate await to get airlifted from the war-torn country. Even the entire world watches getting unfolded in Afghanistan after the rise of the Taliban and its operation of regaining control of the country aftermath of the withdrawal of the US and NATO troops, the media houses in India had said that 150 Indians were kidnapped by the group and they were taken into custody. However, the Taliban has denied the reports while there has been no official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs. 

Afghanistan had fallen completely to the hands of the Taliban as the extremist group had taken over the control of the country after twenty years. As the group is in the process of establishing its governance that would mirror its previous regime from 1996-2001, several countries had begun the measures to evacuate their citizens and embassy staff from the country and India had also deployed its air fleet to bring back Indians safely. So far, hundreds of Indians have been evacuated and the news of Indians got kidnapped by the Taliban has come moments after the Indian Air Force aircraft took off from Kabul on Saturday with over 85 Indians. 

It was reported that the Taliban had questioned Indians they had kidnapped in a police station in Kabul. However, a spokesperson of the Taliban had rebutted such reports and claimed that Indians in Afghanistan are safe. NDTV had quoted sources saying that the Taliban had indeed taken Indians under their custody and hours after keeping them under custody, the group had released them and left them in Kabul airport. It has been said that the Taliban had questioned and checked the travel documents of Indians and after questioning, the group had released them and these Indians will be evacuated soon. 

India had on Tuesday completed the evacuation of all its diplomats and other staff members from Kabul and the mission to evacuate close to 200 people including the Indian envoy and other staff members in two military aircraft was accomplished with support from the United States and the Indian government has been taking efforts to bring as many Indians as possible into the Kabul airport to have a strong and swift evacuation even the airport are being thronged by the Afghan and foreign nationals to leave the country with a vague destination. 

It has been reported that nearly 1,000 Indian nationals are still living in several Afghan cities and the government is tracing their location to expedite the evacuation. However, the drive of locating these Indians has become a whammy for the Indian officials as several of these Indians hadn't registered themselves with the Embassy. Nearly 200 Sikhs and Hindus have taken refuge at a Gurudwara in Kabul. Recently, India's Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said that the government is very carefully monitoring the situation in Kabul and Afghanistan. 

Responding on how India is going to work with the Taliban leadership, he said it is still early days and hadn't divulged whether the Indian government has got touch with the Taliban. Kabul Airport had witnessed chaotic scenes after the Taliban had taken control over the city as hundreds of thousands of people ran towards the airport to board a fight to flee the nation. The chaos and stampede at the airport had killed over five people and resulted in the suspension of flight operations. Several countries are extending their hand to the Afghan people to rescue them from peril and plight under the Taliban's regime.

The US Military had taken the control of the security at the Kabul airport on Monday and Jaishankar had on Monday spoken with his American counterpart Antony Blinken about the evacuation and the Indian External Affairs Minister had also thanked French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian for evacuating 21 Indian nationals from Kabul to Paris. India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had a conversation with America's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday over the evacuating mission. According to a news agency, the Indian government officials had said that the reports that around 150 Indians were kidnapped by the Taliban are false.