Pandit Rajesh, the last priest in Kabul, refuses to flee
People from all communities are looking to leave Afghanistan at the first chance they get as the Taliban gains power. But Pandit Rajesh Kumar, the priest of a Hindu temple in Kabul, says he would not flee. Kumar is perhaps the last Hindu priest living in the Afghan capital, some reports suggest. Why does he want to stay?
'I will not abandon the temple'
"Some Hindus have urged me to leave Kabul and offered to arrange for my travel and stay," Kumar, the priest of the Rattan Nath Temple, reportedly said. He, however, added that he cannot abandon the temple. "My ancestors served this Mandir for hundreds of years. I will not abandon it. If (the) Taliban kills me, I (will) consider it my seva (service)."
Afghanistan fell to the Taliban as President fled
The Taliban is in full control of Afghanistan after its capital Kabul fell and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country over the weekend. The terror group seized city after city before reaching Kabul on Sunday afternoon and asking for a "peaceful transition" of power, which it was given. Ghani has reportedly fled to the neighboring Tajikistan.
Afghans desperate to leave country; chaos at airport
Meanwhile, people across Afghanistan are desperate to leave the country to settle anywhere else. In a video from the Kabul airport, hundreds of Afghans were seen struggling to climb into an airplane from the only ladder connected to it. They were seen pushing and fighting with each other to make it inside the plane. "I feel very scared here," an eyewitness told AFP.
You can watch the disturbing video here
Air India flight canceled as Kabul airspace is closed
Further, an Air India flight scheduled to fly to Afghanistan to bring back people can no longer operate as the airspace has been closed, officials said. "We were not able to operate our 12:30 pm flight to Kabul," a source told NDTV. In fact, Air India flights coming from the United States will likely be re-routed to a Gulf nation for refueling.
What triggered the current situation in Afghanistan?
Separately, the US, the United Kingdom, India, and several other countries are rushing to evacuate their soldiers, diplomats, and nationals from Afghanistan. The situation in the country began deteriorating in May this year, when the US and its allies started pulling out troops from there after 20 years of war. US-led troops had invaded Afghanistan in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks on American soil.