Sikh Gurudwara attacked by Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan, 25 dead

Islamic terrorists attacked a Sikh Gurudwara in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Wednesday, killing 25 and wounding 8 before security forces killed all of the attackers. The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was ‘revenge for India’s treatment of Muslims in its portion of Kashmir’.

Around 80 people were rescued after the operation by Govt. forces. More than 100 people live in the religious complex. “Three suicide bombers entered a dharamsala…the gunmen started their attack at a time when the dharamsala was full of worshippers,” said Narender Singh Khalsa, a Sikh member of the Afghan parliament.

The attack happened around 7 a.m. when Sikh community members had gathered for worship. Terrorists first killed a guard on the way into the compound and began shooting in the shrine.

“The children were very scared, still they are crying and shouting. They will not forget this incident, they are in bad mental states,” said Gurnam Singh, 30, a witness.

Several members of Harander Singh’s family were killed. “The attackers arrived on the stairs and started killing the women. My nephew shouted and said to me ‘Uncle, please go downstairs’, and when I tried to go downstairs, they shot my nephew in the head,” he said.

His wife, father and young daughter were also killed. “My dearest daughter was wounded, and she was repeatedly calling me ‘Dad’ before she died,” he said, through tears.

Islamic State has claimed responsiblity for this attack, but other sources at pointing at involvement of Pakistani state-supported terror group LeT.

It is common for Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan to live in religious complexes like Gurudwaras and temples, for group protection and to escape the routine discrimination they suffer in society. But such collective living also makes them easy targets for terrorists.

In 2018, an Islamic State-claimed suicide bombing targeting the Hindu & Sikh community killed 19 people in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. Earlier this month, a Sikh woman was hacked to death and her body parts cut off during a robbery.

It is estimated that Afghan Hindus and Sikhs numbered more than 700,000; by 1992 this number had fallen to around 220,000, and today less than 5,000 remain. Their worst persecution occurred during years of Mujahideen ruled and civil war in early 90s, after the fall of the Soviet-backed government. Under Taliban rule in the late 1990s, they were told to identify themselves by wearing yellow armbands.

Most of these persecuted Afghan Hindus & Sikhs migrated to  Bharat, from where many sought refuge in Europe and US. But shockingly, in 2016 even European countries like Germany were denying asylum to Afghan Hindus and deporting them back – at the same time, Germany had opened its borders to a flood of Syrian and other Muslim refugees.

Sikhs & Hindus of Pakistan have not fared any better. Many Pakistani Sikh community leaders have been assassinated in recent years, and the bulk of Peshawar’s 30,000 Sikhs have been forced to migrate in fear of their lives. Attacks like the one on Nankana Sahib gurudwara built at birthplace of Guru Nanak are routine within Pakistan.

So when the Government of Bharat introduced the CAA law to provide expedited citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Christian and other religious minority refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who entered Bharat on or before 31 December 2014, one would have expected Sikhs and Christians in Bharat to support the Act. However, shockingly most leaders of both these communities have vehemently opposed CAA.

The ruling Congress government in Punjab has passed a legislation against CAA with CM Amarinder Singh making the bizarre claim that CAA is akin to “ethnic and religious cleansing of Hitler’s Germany” and questioned why Muslims and Jews have been left out in the legislation. BJP-ally Shiromani Akali Dal voted in favour of CAA  in Parliament but later changed its stance and is now asking for Muslims to be included in the ambit of CAA.

Sadly, all those opposing CAA are indirectly supporting such routine massacres of minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and their system persecution in Bangladesh.


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