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EXCLUSIVE | India's Evacuation Drive from War-Torn Afghanistan Has A 'Durga Maa' Connect. Here's Why

Indian nationals evacuated from Afghanistan in C-17. (News18 Exclusive)

Indian nationals evacuated from Afghanistan in C-17. (News18 Exclusive)

With Tuesday's evacuation, the number of people brought back to Delhi reached over 800.

India’s massive evacuation drive under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in violence-torn Afghanistan has been named ‘Operation Devi Shakti’, with several people in the know revealing interesting details about how the moniker came into being.

People aware of the developments said the name was chosen since the evacuation is an attempt to protect innocent citizens from violence like ‘Maa Durga’ protects innocents from demons.

It may also be noted that PM Modi is a great devotee of Goddress Durga and observes nine days of fasting on both Navratras, drinking just warm water through the nine days.

In the recent CCS meeting, the prime minister had given instruction to his fellow colleagues that the rescue operation of people from Afghanistan has to be looked from humanitarian angle and nothing less. He said not only minorities like Hindus and Sikhs have been brought back from Afghanistan by various flights that the government has been able to send, but also several Afghan nationals have chosen to come to India during this hour of crisis.

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India on Tuesday brought back 78 people, including 25 of its nationals and a number of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus from Dushanbe, a day after they were evacuated from Taliban-besieged Kabul to the Tajik city. The group along with three copies of the Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, was airlifted from Kabul to Dushanbe by a military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Monday.

With Tuesday’s evacuation, the number of people brought back to Delhi reached over 800 since August 16 when the first group was airlifted from Kabul, a day after the Taliban seized control of the Afghan capital city. The evacuees were received at the Indira Gandhi International Airport by Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and V Muraleedharan.

“Blessed to receive & pay obeisance to three holy Swaroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from Kabul to Delhi a short while ago," Puri tweeted. An Air India flight brought back the people from Dushanbe.

“Joined Minister Shri @HardeepSPuri ji at Delhi Airport in receiving Swaroop of Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji arrived from Afghanistan along with evacuees," Muraleedharan tweeted. Earlier, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said 78 people are being brought to Delhi on an Air India flight. “Helping in the safe return from Afghanistan. AI 1956 en route to Delhi from Dushanbe carrying 78 passengers, including 25 Indian nationals. Evacuees were flown in from Kabul on an @IAF_MCC aircraft," he said on Twitter. On Monday, India brought back 146 of its nationals to Delhi in four different flights from the Qatari capital Doha, days after they were evacuated from Kabul by NATO and American aircraft.

The Taliban seized control of Kabul on August 15. Within two days of the Taliban’s capture of Kabul, India evacuated 200 people, including the Indian envoy and other staffers of its embassy in the Afghan capital. The first evacuation flight brought back over 40 people, mostly staffers at the Indian embassy on August 16.

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first published:August 24, 2021, 12:52 IST