Taliban prevent 60 Afghan Sikhs from leaving for India with a holy book | News from India

NEW DELHI: A group of Afghan Sikhs who were supposed to leave for India on 9/11 were prevented from taking Guru Granth Sahib along with them as religious scriptures have been cited as a legacy of Afghanistan. Afghan Sikhs began fleeing their country of origin in the 1990s and it is estimated that there are now less than 100 left, including the latter large group of 60 who are unwilling to leave their country without the four Gurus. Granth Sahib.
The move sparked strong condemnation from Amritsar-based Sikh committee chairman Gurudwara Prabandhak Harjinder Singh Dhami Wednesday, calling the Taliban government’s decision a “direct interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs.”
Previously, the Afghan Sikhs had been able to bring the Guru Granth Sahib in December last year during the emergency evacuations conducted from India after the Taliban regime took over. There was no such restrictive protocol at the time as the new regime was still stabilizing.

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The development has caused much concern to members of the Afghan Sikh community here. Many of those stranded in Afghanistan have families who arrived first in India while they remained to care for the gurudwara. There are around 20,000 Afghan Sikhs in India, most of them in Delhi.
In this context, a concerned SGPC chief took to Twitter to express his concern about the emerging situation. “If the Afghan government really cares for Sikhs, it should ensure the safety of their lives, property and religious shrines, instead of harassing them when they are distressed by the attacks on Gurudwara places of worship,” said Dhami, adding that it is due to the atrocities on minority Afghan Sikhs who are forced to leave their country.
“It is cause for concern that if the Sikhs do not stay in Afghanistan, who will take care of the Gurudwara Sahib?” Asked Dhami. He urged the Indian government, the Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene and ensure the protection of the rights of Sikhs in Afghanistan. The SGPC facilitated and supported the evacuation of Afghan Sikhs to India in coordination with the Indian government and the Indian World Forum (IWF) social organization.
Puneet Singh Chandhok, president, IWF said members of the “General Council of Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan” said when they contacted the authorities they were told that although there were no restrictions on their travel, they cannot take the Guru Granth Sahib as the ministry of culture in Afghanistan considers them part of their country’s heritage.
“We urge the Afghan leadership of the Afghan regime to allow Afghan Sikhs to bring religious scriptures to India and facilitate religious freedom and tolerance in line with the UN Charter,” Chandhok said.


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