Afghan Sikh returnees narrate their tales
Harjit Kaur’s brother and sister still stuck in Afghanistan
Harjeet Kaur (30) reached Delhi on August 3 with her husband and three children. Harjeet says that since the time the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, gunmen frequently visited them and used to scare them off. Her concern for her children forced Harjeet to leave Afghanistan. She arrived here safely with eight members of her family, but her one brother, sister-in-law and sister are still in Afghanistan. Due to non-availability of visa and some other difficulties, they could not come to India. Harjeet hopes that soon the rest of his family members will also be able to reach India.
Gurjit Kaur came to India with only two pairs of clothes
Gurjit Kaur (35) is one of the lucky ones who moved to Delhi a few months back. Gurjeet told IANS that she lived near the gurdwara in Kabul, which was targeted recently. After a bomb exploded near her house, she started worrying about her life and decided to go to India. Gurjit, the mother of five children, came to Delhi in a hurry with only two pairs of clothes. She says that she used to run a medicine shop and was born in Afghanistan. Having come to India for the first time, she lives with her husband in New Mahavir Nagar area of Delhi. She left behind her house, shop equipment in Afghanistan. The scenes of violence against Sikhs in Afghanistan are still fresh in Gurjit’s eyes. She also says that now she will never go back to Afghanistan.
SGPC is taking care
Surinder Pal Singh, member of SGPC and head of Sikh Mission Delhi, told IANS, “We have welcomed the Sikh brothers who have arrived from Afghanistan. The work of rehabilitation and other cooperation of these people is also being done by the committee. There are still about 110 Hindus and Sikhs left in Afghanistan, out of which 61 people’s e-visas have been suspended.”
Since the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, religious minorities, including the Sikh community, have been reportedly targeted in large numbers. This is the reason, with the support of SGPC and Centre, Afghan minorities, Sikh community and Hindus are being brought to India. On July 14 also, a batch of 21 Sikhs was brought to India by private ‘Kam’ airlines of Afghanistan. As per information, there were about 700 Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan by 2020, but many people left Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power in August 2021.