Amritsar (Punjab) [India], July 28 (ANI): After the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) arranged for the safe return of 11 people belonging to the Sikh and Hindu minority community, members of few Sikh and Hindu families who migrated from Afghanistan to India 25-30 years back have demanded Indian citizenship.
"We came from Afghanistan in 1992. At that time, there were lots of crises in Afghanistan. Taliban was not letting anyone live in peace. We lost our property and everything. Our religion was in danger in Afghanistan and our daughters were also not safe. This is the reason why we came back to India," Surbir Singh, a person who migrated to India from Afghanistan told ANI.
"The government of India helps us but one problem is that we have to renew our visa every year. In this time of the corona crisis, the problems have compounded. Our demand is that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) should be implemented soon and we get the citizenship of the country," he added.
Another refugee, Shiv Kumar, said, "It is a good thing that the government is thinking about Hindus and Sikhs. Our request is that the government should implement CAA and we should get citizens. We are living here for 25-30 years and we hope that our problems get resolved."
Earlier, the MEA on Sunday had thanked Afghanistan government for extending necessary support for the safe return of 11 people belonging to the Sikh and Hindu minority community, including Nidan Singh Sachdeva, who was kidnapped by the Taliban a month ago and was released from captivity recently.
MEA had recently announced that India has decided to facilitate the return of Afghan Hindu and Sikh community members facing security threats in Afghanistan to India.
The decision came four months after a terror attack at a gurdwara in Kabul's Shor Bazaar killed at least 25 members of the community.
India has condemned the "targeting and persecution" of minority community members by terrorists in Afghanistan at the behest of their external supporters remains a matter of grave concern.
Leaders of the Afghan Sikh community have appealed to the Indian government to accommodate the Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan and grant them legal entry with long term residency multiple entry visas.
Once a community of nearly 250,000 people, the Sikh and Hindu community in Afghanistan has endured years of discrimination and violence from extremists, and the community is now estimated to comprise fewer than 100 families across the country. (ANI)