First batch of 11 Afghan Sikhs land in Delhi
The group includes Nidan Singh Sachdeva, who was abducted from a gurdwara in Paktia province last month
The first batch of 11 members of the minuscule Sikh community from Afghanistan, who have been facing persecution at the hands of Pakistan-backed Taliban, landed in New Delhi on Sunday in a special flight facilitated by the Government of India.
The group has been granted short-term visas by the Indian embassy in Kabul. Among other repatriates includes 60-year-old Delhi-based Sikh Nidan Singh Sachdeva and 16-year-old Sunmeet Kaur, who were kidnapped by terrorists there and was later rescued by security agencies.
Speaking to ANI, Sachdeva said: “I am more than thankful to the Government of India for bringing us here. I have no words to describe my feelings. An atmosphere of fear prevails in Afghanistan.”
The repatriation process was immediately initiated by the Indian Government after perturbing reports of rampant security threats, human rights violations, and decimated on the minority communities surfaced.
“We want peace and earn a livelihood. My mother and brother are still there. I request the government to bring them as well. The situation is bad there. All of us are being pressurised by them for conversions,” said Balender Singh.
Approximately 700 Hindu and Sikhs Afghan Nationals have registered with the embassy of India in Kabul and are seeking an immediate return to India.
India is facilitating the entire process of returning of Afghan Hindu and Sikh community members facing security threats in Afghanistan and extended a helping hand despite the ongoing pandemic.
They will stay at the guest house of Rakab Ganj Gurdwara looked after the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara management committee. (ANI)