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Sikhs, Hindus flee from Afghanistan due to threat from IS

Facing threats from IS and other militant organizations, the minority communities in Muslim dominated Afghanistan are fleeing from the country. Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan has fleeing from the country and seeking asylum in India.

The Sikh community has reduced  to 700 from 250,000 in Afghanistan. The minority Sikhs and Hindus are leaving the country just because of religious persecution and deep-rooted discrimination in the majority Muslim country. Also the attack by IS and other militant organizations has increased manifold.

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“We are no longer able to stay here,” said Hamdard, a member of the Sikh community. Hamdard’s home was seized by warlords after the U.S. invasion in 2001, forcing him to live in one of two Sikh temples in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Hamdard said seven relatives of his, including his sister, nephews, and son-in-law were killed by Islamic State gunmen in an attack on the community’s temple in March, which killed 25 Sikhs.

Under Taliban rule in the late 1990s, Sikhs and Hindus were asked to identify themselves by wearing yellow armbands. Their homes and business firms were seized. Temples and Gurudwars were also demolished. Now in  Afghanistan Sikhs and Hindus both gather under one roof or a single temple to worship, each following their own faith.

In August, a group of 176 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus went to India on special visas. They were the second batch since March, with the first 11 members arriving in India in July.

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