India evacuates 11 Afghan nationals

India has helped in the evacuation of 11 Sikh and Hindu citizens of Afghanistan who arrived here on Sunday, the Ministry of External Affairs announced.

The group’s arrival is significant as it indicates India’s new policy since the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Bill of 2019, which promises amnesty for persecuted members of religious minority groups from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

“India has granted appropriate visa and facilitated their travel to India. We appreciate the efforts of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in extending necessary support for the safe return of these families,” said the MEA in a press release.

Abducted man

The group also includes a Sikh community worker Nidan Singh Sachdeva who was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Paktia province and was released on 18 July. It was initially believed that the kidnappers belonged to the Taliban but the group denounced the action and pledged to punish the kidnappers.

The 11-member group is one of the first such delegations to arrive in India after experiencing violence which provides them the option of seeking citizenship as per the new citizenship law.

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