Shivpuri (Madhya Pradesh): Commandant of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) from Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh, Ravikant Gautam, safely brought 210 Indians back from Afghanistan to the country, say his family members.
His kin living in the district have informed Free Press that as the Taliban laid siege to Afghanistan, the lives of foreigners, including Indians, were in danger.
An ITBP team was assigned the task of rescuing Indians from that country. Gautam was leading the team that rescued 210 Indians on Tuesday in a hair-raising operation.
Danger was lurking everywhere, as the Indian forces met Taliban at some places in Kabul and its nearby areas.
There were incidents of indirect firing between the Taliban and ITBP team members, Gautam’s family members said.
His family members further said that Gautam had been posted there since August 20 last year as commandant of ITBP team.
No sooner had Gautam received a message from officials in Delhi that every Indian should be brought back than Gautam and his team members plunged into action, the family members said.
He, then, began to pick up each Indian from the embassy, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kandahar, Kabul and Jalalabad areas.
In the meantime, Gautam went to the residences of those Indians who sent him messages for rescuing them, Gautam’s family further said.
At times his team members came across a barrage of bullets from the Taliban forces, but that could hardly deter Gautam and his boys from doing duty.
The ITBP team, too, fired in self-defence. Sometimes, Gautam had to play tricks with the Taliban, because there were many Indians in his vehicle and he could barely afford to put the lives of his countrymen at risk.
He safely took 210 Indians to Kabul airport where they got into an Indian plane and landed in Delhi on Tuesday.
Just as the last Indian got off the plane, a tired Gautam heaved a sigh relief.
His parents further said that just after sieging Afghanistan, the Taliban forces began to rain bullets on the foreigners.
They, however, did not want to directly face any foreigners, so, instead of attacking them directly, they opted for indirect ways to stop them from leaving the country, Gautam’s parents said.
Gautam and his team members did not say anything much about the operation as it was highly secret.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)