Bengali Teacher Returns From Kabul Says Taliban Wants to Build ‘New Afghanistan’

Tamal Bhattacharya, a resident of West Bengal had served in a Kabul-based school for five months, however, he had to leave Afghanistan after Taliban took over the nation. From his experience of living in the country, Tamal said, the Taliban is looking to create a ‘new Afghanistan’.

“The Taliban want to create a new Afghanistan. The girls will come to school and study. But their bodies will be covered from head to toe,” said Tamal who spent a couple of days under the Taliban’s surveillance.

On the afternoon of August 15, four Taliban militants suddenly broke into the school. The militants guarded the school for two to three days. Outside, at least 50 Taliban militants roamed the area throughout the time. About 20 to 25 more Taliban militants entered the school on the morning of the 16th equipped with weapons including rocket launchers and INSAS rifles, he informed, however, none of them had harmed him or his colleagues.

Tamal said “the Taliban played cricket with school teachers. They are also fascinated by my behaviour and conversation, clicked photos with me. The Taliban militants even wanted to learn English. The Taliban took control of the properties of Kardan. They guarded us day in and day out. They gave us food, water, medicines.”

A resident of Nimta in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, Bhattacharya worked as a school teacher at the Kardan International School in Kabul for five months. Tamal and one of his Indian colleagues had resigned from the school a day before Kabul fell to the Taliban. After days of speculation and concern, Tamal Bhattacharya was finally reunited with his family on Sunday. He returned home safely with help from Indian Air Force, however, the Taliban escorted him to the airport at every moment, Tamal said. C-17 Globemaster rescued several Indians from Kabul Airport on late Saturday night. Tamal was one of them.

Like Tamal Bhattacharya, Sarbajit Mukherjee also returned home from Afghanistan on Sunday. Sarbajit, a resident of Lake View Road, Kolkata is a professor of international relations at a university in Kabul. He claimed that fear is at work in everyone’s mind about the situation in Afghanistan. When the situation will get normal he definitely wants to return to Afghanistan again, said Sarbajit.

There are many who are not be able to come back from Kabul. Many of those who have not yet returned to the country. Allegedly, the employer took their passports while joining at work. Many did not get their passports back after the fall of Kabul. As a result, even though they have been able to leave Afghanistan, many have been stranded abroad due to the passport crisis.

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