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Migrants trapped in Kabul fear Taliban threats as families worry for them

Updated on Aug 18, 2021 09:36 PM IST

After the Taliban took over the capital of Afghanistan on Sunday, Sujit Maurya, a resident of Bhaishat village in Barhalganj block of Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district, is concerned about the safety of his brother Ranjit Maurya who is trapped in a steel factory near Kabul

The Taliban’s every action in their sudden sweep to power is being watched closely. (AFP)

After the Taliban took over the capital of Afghanistan on Sunday, Sujit Maurya, a resident of Bhaishat village in Barhalganj block of Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district, is concerned about the safety of his brother Ranjit Maurya who is trapped in a steel factory near Kabul.

“I talked to Ranjit on his mobile on Tuesday evening. He told me that around 28 people from various districts of Uttar Pradesh were trapped in the factory. The owner of the factory, a resident of Afghanistan, assured them safety, food and lodging,” he said.

“My brother panicked after a Talibani commander visited the factory along with fighters on Tuesday. The commander told my brother and other people from UP that Afghanistan was now under the control of the Taliban and Islamic law had been enforced in the country. Everyone had to follow the new law, else they should be ready to face the consequences,” Maurya said.

“The passport of all the workers is with the factory owner, who assured them that once the work in the factory was completed he would make arrangements for their return home. Uncertainty prevails in Afghanistan and we cannot rely on the Taliban. All the workers have urged the Indian government to arrange for their safe return,” he said.

The wife and three children of Ranjit staying in the village had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath to arrange for the return of Ranjit and other people, he said.

The family members of Nitish Kumar Gupta, a resident of Bhaluani village in Deoria district, are also praying for his safe return home. His father Srinand Gupta said, “We are in regular contact with Nitish on his mobile. The 28 people staying in the factory have been kept in separate rooms. The factory owner has told them not to venture out till the situation normalises”.

“The factory owner said he did not have trained personnel to run the factory, so once the work was completed or he hired the local people, he would arrange for their return to India. Nitish as well as other workers want to leave Kabul as soon as possible,” he added.

The anguish of the family members of Dinesh Chaudhary, a native of Rampur village and Jangbahadur, a resident of Shyamdeurwa in Maharajganj district is no different.

Jangbahadur’’s wife Dharmawati said, “My husband called me on Tuesday. He said the situation in Kabul was deteriorating fast after the city fell to the Taliban. The threat issued by Taliban commanders has added to their agony. I along with my five daughters pray for his safe return home.”

Anita, wife of Dinesh said, “Earlier my husband worked at Kandhar but around six months back he shifted to a factory in Kabul. I, my in-laws and two children stay in the village. The central government transported several people from Kabul on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also arrange a flight for the return of my husband and other Indian workers trapped in the factory,” she said.

Harkhu Chauhan, father of Dharmendra Chauhan of Narau village in Azamgarh district, said, “My son is also staying with other workers in the factory in Kabul. He called me on Tuesday evening and told me that they were getting meals and other facilities in the factory, but the movement of the armed Taliban fighters around the factory had triggered panic among them.”

Shailendra Shukla, a resident of Dubauli village near Chauri- Chaura town in Gorakhpur district, said in a WhatsApp call from Kabul, “I work as a welder in a steel factory near Kabul. I arrived on July 16 with the hope to earn for the family but after the withdrawal of the US army and the advent of the Taliban, the situation changed fast. Now I and other workers are praying for our safe return home. The threat issued by the Taliban commander has added to our agony. The owner of the factory has told us not to venture outside else we might be targeted by the Taliban fighters.”

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