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Taliban forcibly enter Gurudwara in Afghanistan, threaten worshippers, Sikh community urges India to raise SOS: What happened

Chandhok said that there are about 20 Sikhs who are still trapped in the Gurudwara and urged the Indian government to raise alarm over the situation.

Islamic radicals who belongs to a ‘special unit’ in Afghanistan on Friday forcibly entered Gurdwara Dashmesh Pita at Karte Parwan, Kabul, Afghanistan. Puneet Singh Chandhok, the President of Indian World Forum released a statement and informed about the Islamic radicals desecrating the Gurudwara.

Releasing a statement, Chandok said, “Today heavily armed officials claiming to be from Spl Unit of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan forcibly entered Gurdwara Dashmesh Pita at Karte Parwan, Kabul. They intimidated the community at gurdwara & abused sanctity of holy place”.

He further said that they tried to ward them off, but eventually, the guards of the Gurudwara were threatened with dire consequences. They also raided the entire premises, including the school. “They’re not only raiding the gurdwara but also the entire premises of community school attached next to it. The pvt security guards of the gurdwara initially prevented them from entering but they were also threatened with dire consequences & also manhandled”, Chandhok said.

Chandhok said that there are about 20 Sikhs who are still trapped in the Gurudwara and urged the Indian government to raise alarm over the situation.

“They’ve also simultaneously raided the erstwhile residence and office of MP Narinder Singh Khalsa located adjacent to the gurdwara. Around 20 members of the community are present inside the gurdwara. I urge Govt of India to immediately raise concerns of Hindu & Sikh communities living in Afghanistan with their counterparts at highest level. Incumbent regime in Afghanistan should ensure its compliance to UN Charter & well being of minorities living there”, Chandhok said.

Hindus and Sikhs fled the Taliban regime in Afghanistan 

On August 15, 2021, the Taliban terrorists walked into Kabul, facing no resistance from the Afghan armed forces and declaring themselves as Afghanistan’s rulers. Panic and fear had swept across the country after the fall of Kabul, following which a multitude of city residents flocked to the airport, in a desperate attempt to fly out of the country. 

With India anticipating a humanitarian crisis emerging in Afghanistan, it had already laid the groundwork for initiating a swift evacuation campaign. Indians were dogged by primarily two concerns. Firstly, it didn’t share a contiguous border with Afghanistan, which meant that the evacuation had to be carried out at a broader level with an all-embracing approach. Secondly, India had no security footprint in Afghanistan.

“Our overriding concern was the security of our officials on the ground. So we prioritised it in our plan to exfiltrate them from Afghanistan should the Taliban gets hold of the country,” TOI quoted a senior official as saying, who wished to remain anonymous because of being unauthorised to speak on the issue.

During a press briefing on the 27th of August, the Indian government informed that so far, they have evacuated 550 people from Afghanistan in 6 flights. Out of the 550 people, 260 were Indians. 

“We have evacuated over 550 people in 6 separate flights, either from Kabul or Dushanbe. Of these, over 260 were Indians. GoI also facilitated evacuation of Indian nationals through other agencies. We were in touch with various countries, like [the] US, Tajikistan,” said Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs (MEA), news agency ANI reported.

Further, the ministry said that the “vast majority” of Indians who wanted to return from Afghanistan have been evacuated out of the country. However, Bagchi said that he did not have the exact count of people who wanted to remain in the country. “Our overall assessment is that the vast majority of Indians who wish to return have been evacuated. Some more are likely to be in Afghanistan. I do not have the exact number for that,” he said.


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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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