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Kabul Gurudwara attack: India grants e-visas to Afgan Sikhs, Hindus on priority

The e-visas will facilitate the evacuation of Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan, who are facing grave danger in wake of the terror threats.

A day after the deadly terror attack at Gurudwara Karte Parwan in Kabul’s Bagh-e-Bala neighborhood, in which two persons including a Sikh were killed, the Union ministry of home affairs has decided to grant e-emergency visas to over a hundred Afghan Sikhs and Hindus on ‘priority basis.

The e-visas will facilitate the evacuation of Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan, who are facing grave danger in wake of the terror threats there.

Sources within the MHA have said that considering the security situation, the emergency visas have already been granted in discussion with the intelligence agencies.

Several blasts were reported at the gurudwara in Kabul on Saturday morning followed by a gun battle between the attackers and Taliban fighters. Three attackers were killed by the Taliban fighters.

Global terror outfit the Islamic State of Khorasan Province is suspected to be behind the attack.

MHA sources have also stated that the National Investigation Agency is likely to be handed over the probe into yesterday’s terror attack.

The central agency is already probing the March 25, 2020 attack on a gurudwara in Kabul, in which 27 Sikh devotees including an Indian national were killed.

While there were around 700 Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan in 2020, a large number of families left the country last year in the wake of unrest and following the Taliban’s takeover of the country when the US troops left on August 15.

Following a change of regime in Kabul last year, the Indian government extended help to Afghan citizens, who were looking to flee the country and seek refuge in other countries including India, by starting a new visa category “e-Emergency X-Misc”.

First Published: 19th June, 2022 14:44 IST

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