11 Afghan Sikhs, Including Abducted Man, Given Refuge in India

Afghan Sikh Nidan Singh Sachdeva, who had been abducted, was one among the group.

1 min read
Photo of Nidan Singh with an Afghani security official. 

It was a happy day for 11 Afghan Sikhs who reached Delhi on Sunday, 26 July, via Kam Air flight from Afghanistan. They are the first of the Afghan minorities who were helped by the Indian government by expeditiously processed visas.

Afghan Sikh Nidan Singh Sachdeva, who had been abducted, was one among the group.

“Many people, including Pakistani Taliban, used to come and beat me. I thank Indian PM, the Indian government. India is a great country. No danger for anyone,” he told reporters.

“No one asked my religion here,” he said.

Over 700 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus have registered at the Indian mission in Kabul for transfer to India.

Singh was kidnapped from Gurdwara Tala Sahib, Chamkani, in Afghanistan. His family had moved to India in 1992 due to civil unrest in Afghanistan and have been staying in New Delhi as refugees, reported WION.

The Indian government had expressed concern at the “targeting and persecution of minority community members [in Afghanistan] by terrorists at the behest of their external supporters,” reported Hindustan Times.

Of those who returned, 10 were family members of Sikhs killed in the Kabul Gurudwara terror attack on 25 March, that left 25 people dead and others injured. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State, though Afghan and Indian security officers believe it was executed by Pakistan-based Haqqani Network and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

The Indian government has told the refugees that it will look into their requests for citizenship as well.

(With inputs from WION, Hindustan Times)

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