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100 Sikhs, Hindus waiting to come to India: Afghan Sikh leader

New Delhi: Around 100 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus want to come to India but are unable to as some of their family members are yet to receive their evisas from the Government of India (Go), a Sikh leader said on Saturday.

President of Gurdwara Management Committee, Kabul, Gurnam Singh Rajwanshi, who was evacuated from Kabul with five of his family members on Friday, said his son is among those awaiting their evisas.

Around 28 of them are yet to receive their visas. Because of this, 100 of them are waiting as it is difficult for most Afghan Hindus and Sikhs to leave any of their family members behind and come to India, Rajwanshi said.

Urging the Indian government to grant evisas to the minority community members in the Taliban-controlled country, he said many of those who haven’t received their visas are infants and children.

“The situation is so volatile that we cannot leave the family members, especially the women and children, be alone there even for a minute,” he added.

Since terrorists attacked Karta-E-Parwan gurdwara in Kabul on June 18, 66 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus have been evacuated to India in four batches.

Recalling the attack, Rajwanshi said 18 Afghan Sikhs were inside the gurdwara when it was targeted and two of them died.

“Businesses of many were ruined because even our shops used to be targeted. Afghan Sikhs have stopped visiting gurdwaras there,” he said.

“None of the gurdwaras in Afghanistan is functional anymore and people are also scared to visit them,” he said.

“We were born in that country (Afghanistan), we grew up there, we have our houses there but we cannot even imagine going back to that place again,” he added.

Those who have arrived in India are now focusing on rebuilding their lives. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Amritsar, which has been involved in the evacuation process of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, said the evacuees have basic demands and they will be met soon.

“The evacuees have very basic demands such as shelter and education for their children. We are looking into how the demands can be met,” SGPC senior vice president Raghujit Singh said.

The SGPC has been trying to provide education to the children of the evacuees in Delhi, he said.

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