626 Afghan nationals including 228 Indian citizens evacuated so far: Hardeep Singh Puri

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A man pulls a girl to get inside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

India’s Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday informed that a total of 626 people including 228 Indian citizens have been evacuated from Afghanistan till now. He also informed out of them, 77 were Afghan Sikhs.

The number of Indian citizens evacuated does not include those working in the Indian Embassy, Puri added. Talking about the three Swaroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib brought from Kabul to Delhi today, Puri said, “It was a very emotional and moving experience for me as a Sikh to be able to pay obeisance.”

“During the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, when the Gurudwara at Kabul was attacked, the Central government facilitated 383 Afghan Sikhs to come to India. During the latest developments in Afghanistan, seven evacuation flights were organised,” he added.

Further, Puri said PM Modi has always lent the Sikh community, home or abroad, a shoulder of support in times of distress. “The sewadars who have come (from Afghanistan) have thanked PM Modi and Mother India that we are able to provide sanctuary and comfort to people in distress, particularly to Hindus and Sikhs,” he added.

Talking about his recent tweet regarding Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Hardeep Singh Puri said, “The same people who were opposing CAA legislation when it was enacted are demanding to adjust the cut-off date today.”

Sharing a news article, Puri had tweeted on August 22, “Recent developments in our volatile neighbourhood and the way Sikhs and Hindus are going through a harrowing time are precisely why it was necessary to enact the Citizenship Amendment Act.”

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