New Delhi: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandak Committee (SGPC) in coordination with the Indian World Forum and the Government of India are facilitating the evacuation of distressed Afghan minorities. On Thursday, a special commercial flight from Kabul operated by Kam Air will arrive in Delhi bringing 21 Afghan Sikhs to India. Officials of SGPC, Afghan Hindu and Sikh Community leaders will be present at the airport to receive them. Besides the 21 Afghan Sikhs, an infant is also part of the group who has been facilitated without a visa.
“Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandak Committee, Sri Amritsar is bearing their airfare and will also provide aid to the legitimate persons seeking rehabilitation in India,” a statement informed.
After their arrival, the group will proceed to Gurdwara Sri Guru Arjan Dev, Tilak Nagar, New Delhi.
SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami and Indian World Forum have directed their officials to facilitate these distressed persons at the highest level. The Sikh body also reiterated to provide financial aid to those seeking rehabilitation in India.
As per inputs, 130 Afghan Hindus and Sikhs still remain in Afghanistan and about 60 applications are still pending with the Indian Government for issuance.
Last month, a special flight comprising 11 Afghan Sikhs from Kabul to New Delhi was arranged which included Raqbir Singh who was injured in the Karte Parwan Gurdwara attack in Kabul on June 18, and the ashes of Sawinder Singh, killed in the attack.
Religious minorities in Afghanistan, including the Sikh community, have been targets of violence in the war-torn region. In October last year, 15 to 20 terrorists entered a Gurdwara in the Kart-e-Parwan District of Kabul and tied up the guards. In March 2020, a deadly attack took place at Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Gurudwara in Kabul’s Short Bazaar area in which 27 Sikhs were killed and several were injured. Islamic State terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack.