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‘Saw people running towards airport’: Two Indians, back from Kabul, recount experience

Jagadeesh Poojary (52) and Dinesh Rai (53), who worked at a NATO military airbase in Kabul, came back on Sunday after having been airlifted to Doha along with the US troops.

Written by Kiran Parashar | Bengaluru |
Updated: August 24, 2021 8:19:05 pm
TalibanTaliban fighters stand guard at the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul (AP)

Two Indians from the coastal Karnataka region, who returned to the country from Kabul recently, said it was sad to witness the events that unfolded after the Taliban took over, including the desperation among the people as they ran for the airport.

Jagadeesh Poojary (52) and Dinesh Rai (53), who worked at a NATO military airbase in Kabul, came back on Sunday after having been airlifted to Doha along with the US troops.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Poojary, a native of Moodbidri in Dakshina Kannada district, who had been working as a driver and mechanic for the last 10 years, said that he had never felt insecure in Afghanistan until the Taliban took over.

“Though we were under the protection of US Marines, the kind of things happening all around us was really sad. The runway for both civilian and NATO aircraft is the same. We saw how people were running to the airport,” Poojary said.

Rai, a heavy vehicles mechanic, said, “The US Marines assured us of their protection and gave us hope.”

Poojary and Rai were airlifted to Qatar on August 16. From there, they reached Delhi on Sunday, after which they travelled back home.

Out of the 10 people from Karnataka who were identified to be in Afghanistan, nine have either returned or are on their way back after being airlifted out of Kabul as on Monday evening, sources said.

Among the people who are secure now are two Jesuit priests could not board an IAF plane on Sunday and a nun who has chosen to travel to Italy.

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