Remaining Sikhs in Afghanistan live in fear of terrorists and Covid-19, awaiting India to rescue them
Kabul: Living under the constant threat of terrorists in cramped conditions since the March 25 massacre, Sikhs staying in Afghanistan are exposed to Covid-19, leaving them with no other option but to move to India for a safer future.
Sikhs are a minority community in the country and now it is just over 600 of them who are currently living in Afghanistan. However, the Mar 25 attack on the Sikh gurudwara by terrorists in Afghanistan's Kabul city left the lives of the remaining Sikh community members under a constant threat.
The attack left 25 people dead.
The offshoot of the Islamic State terror group, ISIS Khurasan, had claimed responsibility for the attack on Sikh temple.
Out of fear, most of the Sikhs in the country have been forced to stay in gurdwara's rooms in cramped conditions, doubling the chances of catching COVID-19 infection.
Anywhere between 9 to 14 Sikh community members have been living in each gurdwara room in the aftermath of the attack, reports Daily Sikh.
“More than coronavirus, we are fearful of another attack on us,” 29-year-old Inderjit Kaur, who lost her husband and two brothers in an Islamic State (IS) sponsored terror attack at Gurdwara Har Rai Sahib in Kabul, told Daily Sikh.
Huddled inside a tiny room along with her three children — Harjot (11 months), Simarjit (6), Arveen (3), her mother-in-law and two brothers-in-law, at Gurdwara Dashmesh Pita Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji Singh Sabha Karte Parwan, Inderjit live in constant fear of another attack.
“I just want a safe life for my children. We want to move to India as soon as possible. Please take us out of here,” she cries.
Paramjit Kaur (30), who lost her mother-in-law and sister in the attack, now lives at Karte Parwan gurdwara, also expressed her plight to Daily Sikh and said: “It is always crowded here. Other visitors also keep visiting. We sleep on floor, all nine of us in the same room. At least fifty people use same washroom."
"We know that coronavirus can spread here anytime and if one gets it, all will infected because we are together almost entire day but we do not have any option. We cannot afford to pay rent for rooms outside. We do not have our own house. We are scared of another attack and coronavirus both, but fear of another attack is always bigger."
India is their last hope:
Sikh community leaders in the country said they have already written to Indian Ebassy to rescue them.
Chhabol Singh, member, managing committee, Gurdwara Karte Parwan, told Daily Sikh, “We have already given in writing to the Indian Embassy to rescue us. We need evacuation from here as soon as possible. There are just around 650 Sikh community members left here and we have already submitted the list to Embassy. But coronavirus has delayed everything. It has been decided that in the first batch, shaheed parivaar (families which lost members in March 25 attack) and those who have someone living in India already, will be sent.”
Singh said they are trying their best to maintain social distancing.
He added: "Here families do not have place to live, to sleep. We are trying our best to maintain social distancing, but how do we do."