The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has announced that the organisation will give Rs 1 lakh to the family of each of the Sikhs killed during the terror attack in Afghanistan on Sunday and also take financial responsibility of the education of their kids.

SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said that Rs 50,000 will also be given to the injured for treatment. “It would be better if the injured persons are brought to India for treatment. It would give them relief,” he added.

Delegation meets Swaraj

SGPC spokesperson Diljit Singh Bedi said a delegation comprising Longowal, MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) chief Manjit Singh GK, former chairman of National Commission for Minorities Tarlochan Singh and a few Sikhs from Afghanistan also met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

The delegation requested the minister to take measures to ensure the safety of the Sikhs there and send a joint delegation of government and the SGPC to Afghanistan to take stock of the situation. “The minister assured the delegation that necessary measures will be taken for safeguard of Sikhs and the community will be provided with every help,” he added.

The minister condemned the suicide attack in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad yesterday that killed 13 members from the Afghan Sikh community, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

“EAM @SushmaSwaraj expressed sincere condolences during her meeting with a delegation of representatives of the SGPC, the Sikh community from Afghanistan and relatives of the victims,” Kumar tweeted after the meeting.

SGPC office remained closed

Condemning the killing of Sikhs and others in Afghanistan, the SGPC closed its offices on Monday and said that the Afghanistan government had failed to provide security to minority communities. “The SGPC rank and file gathered at Teja Singh Samundari Hall, where they recited gurbani and performed ‘ardas’ for the victims,” said Roop Singh, chief secretary of the SGPC.

Saying that the attack was inhuman, Longowal added, “The Sikhs have been living in Afghanistan since the era of Guru Nanak and contributing to the prosperity and progress of the country. However, this is matter of deep concern that Sikhs are not provided security there. In this kind of environment, they are feeling unsafe. This is the reason that many Sikhs have migrated to other countries”.

Longowal added that a deep-rooted conspiracy was at work against the Sikhs as their leader Avtar Singh Khalsa, one of the victims, was to contest Afghan Parliamentary elections in October.

Global Muslim leadership should intervene: Dal Khalsa

Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said minority communities such as Sikhs and Hindus have been facing persecution and threats since long in Afghanistan.

Singh called upon the Hezb-i-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who had once declared his affinity for the Sikhs, to comprehensively and conclusively intervene to bring the perpetrators to justice and to drive the point home that Muslims aren’t at loggerheads with the Sikhs.Hekmatyar once a powerful Afghan warlord, returned to the country after striking a deal with President Ashraf Ghani, which was initiated during the Obama administration and finalised last year under the Trump administration.

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