Taliban stops 140 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus from travelling to India
The development comes two days after the Taliban announced they will not allow any Afghan nationals to leave the country.
New Delhi: The Taliban has stopped 140 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus from travelling to India, who were supposed to attend the 400th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur at a Gurudwara in Delhi’s Mahavir Nagar on August 29.
The development comes two days after the Taliban announced they will not allow any Afghan nationals to leave the country. They also said that the group will opposes an extension of evacuation flights.
Every year, Sikhs and Hindus come to attend the celebrations at Gurdwara Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Delhi’s Mahavir Nagar. The Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were also supposed to come today but the Taliban had stopped them, Vikaspuri-based Gurudwara Guru Nanak Sahib Ji President Guljeet Singh said. He is of Afghan-origin.
“A kirtan darbar is scheduled on Sunday. Many members of our community from various parts of the world have already arrived to attend the same. Unfortunately, the Taliban has denied them access to the Kabul Airport,” Partap Singh President of Gurdwara Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, New Mahavir Nagar said. He is also of Afghan-origin.
Further, Guljeet Singh said, “400th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur is a lifetime event and millions of Hindus and Sikhs are celebrating the same in a glorified manner. It is sad to note that our brother and sisters from Afghanistan aren’t being allowed for pilgrimage. Every year, our Afghan-origin community organises pilgrimage tour to India to visit historical gurdwaras in India and this year the visit was well preplanned.”
After suspension of commercial international flights in Afghanistan due to the political situation “we have requested Government of India to facilitate their attendance at these mega celebrations. Regret to note that last night these law abiding pilgrims were turned back by Taliban security forces from the airport after waiting for more than 15 hours in their convoys,” he said.
Indian World Forum, an organisation which connecting Indian diaspora and networking India with the world, has approached the government in this regard.
“I appeal upon Taliban to facilitate an early departure of Afghan Hindu and Sikhs Pilgrims in the interest of humanity at the highest level. Hindu and Sikh community in Afghanistan has significantly contirbuted in the development and economic growth of the islamic nation and they should be granted free and safe access to arrive and depart,” Puneet Singh, President of Indian World Forum said.
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