In the midst of the evacuation of Indians stranded in strife-torn Afghanistan after the Taliban took control, Afghan students in Karnataka have made special requests to Indian authorities.
About 40 Afghan students in the State have approached the State government seeking its help in securing Indian visas for their family members so that they can migrate here. “Everyone is worried. About 40 Afghan students studying across Karnataka have approached the State government seeking help to secure visas for their families. Since all these come under the purview of the Ministry of External Affairs and the visa process has been made online, we have asked them to seek online visas,” Additional Director-General of Police (CID) Umesh Kumar, the State’s nodal officer on the Afghan issue, told The Hindu . He also said that they had received requests from Afghan students, who have been enrolled in educational institutions in Karnataka, but are currently stranded in their country, seeking help to come here.
According to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), 339 Afghan students are currently in Karnataka. The bulk of them are in Bengaluru (202), followed by Mysuru and Mangaluru with 64 and 35 students, respectively. Ramanagaram has 25 students, Hubballi-Dharwad 10, and Raichur and Davangere have two and one, respectively. “Apart from students, there are some Afghan nationals who are working in Karnataka,” Mr. Kumar said. He also said that an estimated 300 persons from Karnataka have so far returned from Afghanistan. “There are many more who have settled there but are willing to stay back. We do not have their numbers.”
Meanwhile, Abdul Sattar, father of Tanveen Abdul, a 24-year-old woman from Ballari who was settled in Afghanistan with her Afghani husband Jalal Hashmi for the last three years, confirmed that his daughter had safely returned to India. As per information provided by the Ballari police, Ms. Tanveen, a native of Sandur in Ballari district, married Mr. Jalal met in 2016 when they were studying at an engineering college in Bengaluru. They got married in 2018 and left for Afghanistan. Considering the Taliban’s advances in Afghanistan, Ms. Tanveen contacted her father before the Taliban’s takeover of the country and expressed her desire to come back to her native place. Mr. Sattar immediately contacted the Indian Embassy in Kabul with the help of authorities in New Delhi.
“We don’t know when she will reach Ballari. Considering the COVID-19 guidelines in force, she may be asked to get quarantined for 14 days,” said Chidanand Rao, Inspector of Police, Special Branch.
Among the others from Karnataka returning to India are those employed with the ground handling agency at the Kabul airport, Mr. Kumar said. “The company is making arrangements for their return home. Others will make their own arrangements,” he said.