Chandigarh, March 25 – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today while condemning the barbaric attack on Gurdwara Har Rai in Kabul, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up the issue of safety of the Sikh community with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani urgently.
In a statement here, the SAD President said as per initial reports eleven persons had been killed even as more than 150 Sikhs were holed up in the gurdwara complex. “These people need to be rescued even as quick action needs to be taken to bring to justice those responsible for this cowardly and ghastly act”.
Mr Sukhbir Badal said it was unfortunate that Sikhs in Afghanistan had been victims of forced marriages and conversions and killings for more than two decades now but no concrete steps had been taken to ensure their safety. He said Sikhs were being systematically decimated in Afghanistan due to which thousands had fled the country to seek refuge in India. He said Sikhs were now even being targeted with suicide bombings as had occurred in 2018 in Jalalabad killing more than a dozen community members. “Now only around 300 Sikh families live in Afghanistan in the vicinity of Gurdwaras but even they are not safe with even gurdwaras being targeted as has happened today morning”, he added.
The SAD President also issued a public appeal to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to take steps to stop attacks on the Sikh community by radical elements. In his message to Mr Ghani, the SAD President said Sikhs who had been displaced by the wave of violence against them by fanatics should be rehabilitated. He said similarly all Sikh places of worship in Afghanistan should be given due protection by the State”.