Sikh organisations condemn ‘insane and barbaric’ Kabul gurdwara attack

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By Asia Samachar | Malaysia |

Two Malaysian-based Sikh organisations have condemned the ‘insane and barbaric attack’ on the Gurdwara Sahib Karte Parwan in Kabul, Afghanistan on June 18.

In a joint statement, Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) and Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) called on the Afghanistan authorities to punish those involved in the ‘heinous act’.

“All people of the world should condemn this heinous attack on unarmed and peaceful worshippers in the Gurdwara Sahib,” they said in the joint statement emailed to Asia Samachar.

An Islamic State affiliate has claimed responsibility for the attack that killed at least two people and injured seven. ISIS-Khorasan said on its Telegram channel that it was “an act of revenge” following insults made by members of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) about the Prophet Mohammed.

Nupur Sharma, a spokesperson for the party, had made derogatory remarks regarding the Prophet Mohammed during a panel discussion on a news channel and her comments were allegedly followed by anti-Islam comments by another party leader on Twitter, according to media rpeorts.

Kabul police officials said seven gunmen had tried to storm the temple in the early hours of Saturday morning and all were killed after a standoff that lasted several hours. A gurdwara official said 30 people were inside the SIkh centre at the time of the incident.

ISIS-K said in its Telegram post that its suicide bomber Abu Muhammad al-Tajik had gained entry to the temple by throwing a hand grenade at the security guard officer at the entrance, killing him, reported CNN. “Armed with a rifle, pistol and hand grenades, he proceeded to shoot,” the worshippers inside the temple, ISIS-K said.

In the 1930s there were more than 300,000 Sikhs staying in Afghanistan. By the time of the March 2020 attack when 25 Sikh worshippers were killed in Gurdwara, only about 450 Sikhs remained in Afghanistan. The rest had migrated out due to constant killings, harassment and violence against the minority Sikhs, the joint statement said.

“We also pray for the safety of the remaining Sikhs whose lives are constantly in danger,” the statement added.

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(Asia Samachar, x 2022)



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