Amid Grief, Final Prayers For Sikh Man Killed In Kabul

| Updated: 20 June, 2022 5:22 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Tears rolled down the cheeks of Ajmeet Singh as Farid Mamundzay, the Afghan Ambassador to India, hugged him after giving him a photo of his father Sawinder Singh Kakkar on Monday.

It was a poignant moment that overwhelmed the occasion as the Antim Ardas for Sawinder Singh Kakkar, the 55-year-old who was killed in an ISIS attack at Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul on Saturday, was held at Gurdwara Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Tilak Nagar here in the national capital.

A day before the world celebrated Father’s Day, Ajmeet Singh’s world changed forever as the family got the news of Sawinder Singh being one of the two people who were killed, while seven others were injured, in the horrific attack. ISIS claimed the responsibility for the attack, as a retaliation for the statements made against the Prophet Mohamed by former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

According to the family members, Sawinder wanted to come back to his family in Delhi but was unable to get a visa.

“He applied for a visa many times but he faced a lot of difficulties as the Indian government rejected his application. He feared for his life from the Taliban and took shelter at the Karte Parwan Gurdwara as he worked there as a part-time sevadar,” Trilok Singh Kakkar, Sawinder Kakkar’s elder brother, told The New Indian.

Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India Mamundzay said, “We condemn these horrific acts as these are sacred places, places of worship. This attack was not only on gurdwara but this attack was on the entire civilized population of Afghanistan.”

Many Sikhs, along with members of the Hindu community, were taking shelter at the gurdwara. And at the time of the attack, some 30 persons were present inside. While bomb blast cases have come down since the Taliban took over, there have been steady attacks on the minority communities which were claimed by the terrorist organisation ISIS.

Trilok Singh Kakkar also appealed to the Indian government to simplify the visa procedure and take steps to ensure the safety of minority communities in Afghanistan as he doesn’t want any other funerals of his brothers currently residing in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs swung into action as it issued emergency visas to 111 Sikhs and Hindus several hours after the Gurudwara attack. Ajmeet Singh was also among the people who were granted emergency visas so that he can complete the last rites of his father.

Union Minister of Urban Affairs Harshdeep Singh Puri also visited the grieving family to offer his condolences.

“As the cherry is written, so is the command. O Nanak, let him always rise up. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the Sikh community and family on the martyrdom of Sardar Sawindar Singh Ji who was martyred in the heinous attack on Gurdwara Karte Parwan, Kabul,” Puri said.

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