An Indian Air Force (IAF) transport aircraft which departed from the Kabul airport with some eminent Afghan leaders, including public representatives from the Hindu and Sikh communities, as well as 85 Indians on board on Saturday will arrive in New Delhi on Sunday (today).
The sources said that the IAF's C-130J transport plane landed in Tajikistan for refuelling and is likely to arrive at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad on Sunday.
Fearing that the Taliban militia may prevent the Afghan public representatives from boarding the IAF flight, the entire plan was kept secret till the aircraft took off from Afghanistan, the sources further said.
The IAF aircraft was waiting for the clearance at Kabul airport due to the huge rush as many countries have sent their military planes to evacuate its citizens.
Landing aircraft at Kabul airport has become extremely challenging
"The US authorities have taken full control of the airport and they are managing the air operation from the war torn country. In this huge rush, charting out a slot for an aircraft and also a safe air route for the evacuation flight have become major challenges for the US authority," an informed official said.
This was the second evacuation made by the Indian authorities to bring back stranded citizens and Afghan nationals who wanted to leave the war-torn country after the fall of Kabul to the insurgents on August 15.
The first air rescue operation was made on August 17, when an IAF C-17 aircraft brought back 120 Indians, including Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon, the last batch of the Indian embassy staff and ITBP personnel.
Around 200 Indian nationals await evacuation from Afghanistan
Around 200 Indian nationals are also waiting for their evacuation from war-torn Afghanistan. These nationals were earlier questioned by Taliban, amid reports that they were captured. However, all Indians are safe as the government prepares for their safe evacuation.
The government has been making all efforts to bring back Indians and leaders of the Afghani Sikh and Hindu communities who have fear Taliban prosecution.