11 Afghan Sikhs reach India, claim persecution; one recounts Taliban abduction

11 Afghan citizens landed on New Delhi on Sunday. They have been provided short-term visas by the Indian government. The travellers included one Nidan Singh, who had been abducted by the Taliban from a gurudwara in June. He was later released with the help of the Afghan government. Many of those who came recounted stories of harassment and persecution, with attempts at forced conversion the common theme. One of the travellers claimed that while not all the majority community members in Afghanistan were bad, the good ones were heavily outnumbered. He also claimed that members of the Sikh community were referred to as 'kaafirs'. The resurgence of Taliban, especially after the group's deal with the United States of America, has increased nervosity among religious minorities in the country. In March, a terror attack at a gurudwara in Kabul had claimed the lives of over 25 people. Minorities from Afghanistan are also part of the 6 religious groups which stand to benefit from India's new Citizenship Amendment Act, or CAA. The contentious law, passed by Parliament last year, promises Indian citizenship to members of 6 religious groups from 3 Muslim-majority neighbours of India who entered the country till December 2014.

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