Air India flight with 78 people, including 25 Indians, evacuated from Kabul arrives in Delhi

New Delhi : An Air India flight carrying 78 people, including 25 Indian nationals and 46 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus evacuated from Kabul, landed in the Indian capital on Tuesday morning.

The Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were also carrying three Guru Granth Sahibs, the Sikh holy book, that were brought from a Kabul gurdwara.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan and BJP leader RP Singh and others were at the airport to receive the Guru Granth Sahibs. Hardeep Puri was seen carrying one of the three suitcases containing the Sikh holy book on his head while exiting the airport.

Earlier, Arindam Bagchi, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, in a tweet said that the evacuees were flown to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on board an Indian Air Force aircraft from Kabul in transit.

“Helping in the safe return from Afghanistan. AI 1956 enroute to Delhi from Dushanbe carrying 78 passengers, including 25 Indian nationals. Evacuees were flown in from Kabul on an @IAF_MCC aircraft. @IndEmbDushanbe,” he posted.

The 78 passengers include 46 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus who were evacuated from Kabul on Monday, along with three Guru Granth Sahibs, the holy book of the Sikhs.

Separately, 75 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus who were to come to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday for evacuation were unable to do so due to shooting at the airport. They are still at the Gurdwara Karte Parwan in Kabul, according to tweets by Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

Earlier he posted, “Swaroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and 46 Indians have landed safely at Dushanbe. They will reach India tomorrow. Other 75 Afghani people who were to come to India are still at Gurdwara Karte Parwan because of security reasons after shootout at Kabul airport.”

He said the evacuation of the 75 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus still remaining in the Kabul gurdwara “will also be planned sooner”.