UPDATE ON AUG 24, 03:41 PM IST
The protest was organised by Afghan Solidarity Committee (ASC). Protesters came from the capital’s Lajpat Nagar, ‘Little Kabul’ of Delhi, Bhogal, Noida, Greater Noida, Faridabad, among other places
As the crisis in Afghanistan deepens after the Taliban takeover, a large number of Afghan refugees in India protested outside the UNHCR office in Delhi seeking the release of “support letters” from the UN agency to migrate to other countries for better opportunities.
Hundreds of demonstrators from Delhi and neighbouring cities gathered in front of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Vasant Vihar on August 23.
The crowd shouted slogans like “We want future”, “We want justice”, “No more silence” and clapped and cheered each other, as many others held banners bearing messages like “UN Geneva help Afghan Refugees” and “Issue resident visas to all Afghan refugees”.
People protest outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office to urge the international community to help Afghan refugees, in New Delhi.
The protest was organised by Afghan Solidarity Committee (ASC) and the protestors were shouting slogans till late afternoon, with their leader saying the protest will continue for at least two-three days. Protesters came from Lajpat Nagar, the “Little Kabul” of Delhi, Bhogal, Noida, Greater Noida, Faridabad, among other places.
The ASC volunteers also wore a blue armband to register their protests, while women and children sang Afghan song ‘Sarzamine Mann’.
Most of the Afghans protesting outside the UN office said they fled to India more than 10 years ago but are still waiting to be recognised as refugees. Many get trapped within a complex bureaucratic process to register as refugees in India and struggle to live a dignified life, they said.
India is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol. As of 2019, Afghans accounted for about a third of the nearly 40,000 refugees registered in India, according to the UN refugee agency but this figure excludes those not registered with the UN