Monday, April 15, 2024

E-Visa granted to over 100 Afghan Sikhs, Hindus

The Indian government has granted e-visa to over 100 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, on priority, after the targeted attack against the community in Kabul on Saturday, sources told NDTV.

Two people, including a Sikh, were killed as several blasts tore through a gurdwara in Kabul on Saturday, in the latest targeted assault on a place of worship of the Sikh community in Afghanistan.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for insults against the Prophet Mohammed, news agency AFP reported.

The attack at Gurdwara Karte Parwan in Kabul’s Bagh-e Bala neighborhood lasted for several hours and three attackers were killed by the Taliban forces, according to reports.

The gurdwara was attacked early in the morning when up to 30 people were inside, the BBC reported.

The attackers, a spokesperson for the Afganistan Interior Ministry said, had detonated a vehicle full of explosives outside of the gurdwara but that resulted in no casualties.

“First the gunmen threw a hand grenade which caused a fire near the gate of the gurdwara,” the Associated Press quoted the Interior Ministry spokesman as saying.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the “barbaric” terrorist attack and said he was praying for the safety and well-being of the devotees.

“Shocked by the cowardly terrorist attack against the Karte Parwan Gurudwara in Kabul. I condemn this barbaric attack, and pray for the safety and well-being of the devotees,” PM Modi tweeted.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also strongly condemned the attack and said the government was closely monitoring the situation following the incident.

“The cowardly attack on Gurdwara Karte Parwan should be condemned in the strongest terms by all. We have been closely monitoring developments since the news of the attack was received. Our first and foremost concern is for the welfare of the community,” Mr Jaishankar tweeted.

“We are deeply concerned at the reports emanating from Kabul about an attack on a sacred Gurdwara in that city. We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for further details on the unfolding developments,” the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs also tweeted.

Saturday’s incident is the latest targeted attack on a place of worship of a minority community in Afghanistan.

In March 2020, at least 25 worshippers were killed and eight others injured when a heavily armed suicide bomber stormed Har Rai Sahib, a prominent gurdwara in the heart of Kabul, in one of the deadliest attacks on the minority Sikh community in the country.

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