'Were made to sit under shadows of guns': Gorakhpur native recalls Taliban horror

Shailendra Shukla said he along with several other Indians were taken hostage by around ten Taliban men when they were on their way to Kabul international airport.

Published: 24th August 2021 10:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2021 03:06 PM   |  A+A-

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows crowds and traffic at the entrance to Kabul’s international airport on Monday. (Photo | AP)


GORAKHPPUR: Back to his home at Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur from Afghanistan on Monday, 40-year-old Shailendra Shukla shudders to recall the harrowing, week-long uncertainties in Kabul after its fall to the Taliban and his over 4-hour-long captivity under them.

On his return to Gorakhpur on Monday afternoon, Shukla said he along with several other Indians were taken hostage by around ten Taliban men when they were on their way to Kabul international airport on Saturday morning to take an IAF flight.

They were, however, rescued by the prompt intervention of the Indian embassy officials in Afghanistan and media men, who rushed to them after coming to know that they have been taken hostage, he said.

Shailendra had gone to Kabul on July 16 for two and half months for the maintenance of machines in a private firm in Kabul but had to cut short his visit after the Taliban took over Kabul.

"Soon after Kabul fell to the Taliban, our factory owner restricted us to the factory premises due to security reasons but we were continuously in contact with the Indian embassy and also with the media," said the Chauri Chara's Naya Bazar area resident.

"The Indian embassy officials finally took us to Khalij Hall in Kabul on Friday night and then we headed to the Kabul airport in six buses on Saturday morning along with our embassy coordinator in one of the buses," he said.

"But soon after we left for the airport around, eight-ten Taliban people stopped our buses and asked us to move with them. They took us to some unknown place and made us sit there under the shadow of their gun," he said, recalling the horror.

"But after coming to know of our situation, several media persons along with some of our Kabul embassy officials reached us within hours after which our captors turned friendly to us and even gave us tea and lunch. We were eventually freed after four and half hours of captivity," said Shukla, heaving a sigh of relief.

"We were then ferried to the airport and boarded an IAF plane, which took off for India. We landed at the Hindon Airforce Base on Sunday along with 150 other Indians," he said.

"I reached Anand Vihar Railway station in Delhi and took a train to Gorakhpur," he said, thanking the Indian government and media men in Kabul who, he said, ensured their safe return to their homeland.


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