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Days after Kabul gurdwara assault, 11 Afghan Sikhs arrive in Delhi: ‘Lost my everything there, can’t afford to lose myself’

Afghan Sikhs

Speaking to The Indian Express, SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami mentioned {that a} group of 11 Afghan Sikhs landed in Delhi and the Sikh gurdwara physique paid for his or her travel bills. SGPC is paying for his or her air travel as it is rather necessary to evacuate Afghan Sikhs safely from Afghanistan, he mentioned.

The switch of Afghan minorities to India is being facilitated by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in coordination with us, mentioned Puneet Chandhok, president, Indian World Forum.

The ashes of Sawinder Singh, who was killed within the assault on June 18, had been additionally transported to Delhi the place his household lives. Raqbir Singh, who was injured throughout the assault, was among the many group of 11.

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Among the group of 11 that arrived in Delhi was Ajmeet Singh, 28, who misplaced his father and paternal uncle within the March 2020 assault on Gurdwara Har Rai Sahib, when an Islamic State gunman had stormed the gurdwara in Kabul killing at the very least 25 Afghan Sikhs. Ajmeet, who had shifted his mom and siblings to Delhi after his father Soorjan Singh and uncle Sardar Singh died, instructed The Indian Express: “It feels really bad when you are forced to leave your own country, but everything is over for us in Afghanistan. I lost my everything there, my father and uncle both were shot dead in 2020 attack… even then I kept staying there thinking things will be better but now I couldn’t have waited to lose myself because had I died, what would have happened to my mother, brother and sister… how would they survive?”

Ajmeet Singh has arrived in Delhi after abandoning his drugs store in Kabul. “We don’t know what will happen to our shops and businesses back home in Kabul but right now it was most important to save our lives and come as soon as visa was issued. Seeing the current situation, I have no plans to return to Afghanistan,” mentioned Ajmeet, including that he has no concept of how he can be surviving in Delhi and begin a brand new life.

The representatives of SGPC and Afghan Hindu and Sikh group leaders had been current on the airport to welcome the group.
As of March 2020, there have been round 650-700 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan. However, because the assault on Gurdwara Har Rai Sahib in Kabul on March 25 that 12 months, when 25 Afghan Sikhs had been killed, most members of the group have been evacuating to India in batches.

After the Taliban took over Kabul in August final 12 months, three batches of Afghan Sikhs had arrived in Delhi, together with former Sikh MPs Narinder Singh Khalsa and Anarkali Kaur Honoryar. Before Thursday’s batch of 11, the final batch had arrived on December 10, 2021 when 103 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus had landed in Delhi.

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Around 140-150 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus nonetheless stay in Afghanistan. After the June 18 assault, the federal government of India has issued 111 visas for his or her evacuation to Delhi whereas the remaining stay pending.

The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) had claimed duty for the latest June 18 assault and mentioned that it was revenge for the insult of Prophet Mohammed by an Indian politician.

Meanwhile, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney in a letter to SGPC president wrote that the SGPC ought to fulfil its earlier guarantees and launch reduction quantity which it had promised for sufferer households of 2020 Kabul gurdwara assault and 2018 Jalalabad assault. “SGPC had promised help of Rs 1 lakh each for families of 25 Afghan Sikhs who had died in March 2020 attack but except two families, none has received the money yet. Also, relief promised by SGPC for 2018 attack victim families is pending,” mentioned Sahney.

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