This Article is From Jul 15, 2022

"Life Under Constant Threat": Afghan Sikh Man Recounts Past Year In Kabul

Rajinder Singh's wife, who was seven months' pregnant, lost her child in September 2021 due to lack of medical facilities in Kabul.

'Life Under Constant Threat': Afghan Sikh Man Recounts Past Year In Kabul

21 Afghan Sikhs were flown in from Kabul yesterday.

New Delhi:

The past year was a nightmare for 27-year-old Rajinder Singh, an Afghan Sikh, who lost his unborn child due to lack of medical facilities in Taliban-controlled Kabul and lived in constant fear as minorities came under attack.

Mr Singh and his wife were among 21 Afghan Sikhs who arrived in Delhi on Thursday as evacuation of minorities from the country to India continues.

His wife, who was seven months' pregnant, lost her child in September 2021 due to lack of medical facilities.

"The city of Kabul turned into a graveyard and all the hospitals were inaccessible during that point of time. My wife was seven-month pregnant when we lost the child. There was no doctor, no possible way to get check-ups done," Mr Singh told PTI.

Most of the people from the minority Hindu and Sikh communities in the Afghanistan capital city had taken shelter inside a gurdwara after the Taliban took control of the country.

"We did not get to see anything beyond those four walls of the gurdwara for two months. No one is safe in Afghanistan. Our lives were under constant threat," Mr Singh said.

The Gurdwara Dashmesh Pita Guru Gobind Singh Karte Parwan in Kabul, where several Afghan Sikh minorities had taken refuge, came under attack on June 18.

"My residence is located just beside the gurdwara. We could hear gunshots from our home when the gurdwara was attacked. There was no one as such whom we could approach for help at that point of time. The Indian government extended support to us and hence, we managed to escape," Mr Singh said.

The 21 Afghan Sikhs who were flown in from Kabul on Thursday with assistance from the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Indian World Forum and the central government included three children and an infant, officials said.

"We at the Indian World Forum are extending all possible help and support from our end. All kinds of arrangements have been done for their convenience. We have been trying our best for their safe and secure travel from Afghanistan to India," president of Indian World Forum Puneet Singh Chandhok told PTI.

He said around 130 Afghan Hindus and Sikhs are still in Afghanistan and about 60 applications are pending with the Indian government for issuance of visas.

"The Taliban government says something and does something else. There is resentment among them. They don't want Afghan Sikhs and Hindus to leave because it will add to their embarrassment in the international community," he said.

The SGPC and Sri Amritsar bore the airfares for the evacuees and provided aid to those seeking rehabilitation in India.

SGPC workers and Afghan Hindu and Sikh community leaders received them at the airport and took them to the Gurdwara Sri Guru Arjan Dev, an SGPC member said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)