New Delhi: The Union’s Home Office has withdrawn the powers of the Regional Aliens Registration Office to ask any Afghan national to leave India, amid the volatile situation in Afghanistan. Now, such decisions can only be taken by the ministry to put an end to any local harassment of Afghan nationals.
Afghanistan has been in turmoil for over a month as the Taliban seized power before US forces withdrew after 20 years of occupation. As the Taliban captured Kabul, desperate citizens flooded the airport trying to get out.
India has helped its nationals get out of this war-torn country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also made it clear that the country will help the Hindus and Sikhs of Afghanistan as well as those who are “friends”.
New ministry guidelines released earlier this month say the registrar will not be able to issue exit orders or “exit from India notices” to an Afghan national.
“If anyone (any Afghan national) wants to leave the country, they can go. But if a FRRO sends them a “Leave India then these cases will be referred to MHA,” a senior Home Ministry official said.
According to him, this is an additional shield provided to them. “Any Afghan national living in India, regardless of their category, will benefit from this additional shelter,” he added.
Ministry guidelines maintain that Afghan nationals living in India on any visa category will have their visas extended free of charge until further notice.
The Minister of the Interior had previously extended the visa for all foreigners until September 30. “All foreigners who have been stranded in India since the start of the pandemic have had their visas extended for free,” another official said.
In accordance with the directives of the Union Ministry of Interior, after September 30, if these Afghan nationals wish to study, they must apply on the FRRO electronic portal.