Sikh24.com – Afghan Sikhs asked to quit Afghanistan within 10 days or get ready to be killed

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 28 March 2020. The Afghan Sikhs living in Kabul are being threatened by the ISIS-K to quit Afghanistan. Notably, the ISIS-K had killed more than two dozen Sikhs and 8 others in a suicidal attack carried out at Gurdwara Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji.

Sharing the development with media, Kabul resident Gurnam Singh and Sarpal Singh informed that a terrorist organization has threatened them to quit Afghanistan within 10 days otherwise all of them will be killed.

They informed that the terrorist organizations are threatening them despite deployment of more than 200 Afghan soldiers around Gurdwara Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji.

After this threatening, the Kabul Sikhs are instructing each other to avoid any movement out of their houses or towards Gurdwara Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji. The Afghan Sikhs have demanded immediate travel arrangements for their secure evacuation from Afghanistan without naming any country.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Pakistan government has asked the Afghan Sikhs to get shifted to Peshawar but the Afghan Sikhs have not responded yet.

At present, there are only 600 names of Sikhs and Hindus in the voter list of Afghanistan. There are only two Gurdwaras, one in Kabul another in Jalalabad, running in Afghanistan.

Afghan Sikhs asked to quit Afghanistan within 10 days or get ready to be killed

The Indian Express – Serving over 10k meals a day, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib’s kitchen runs short of wheat

It is for the first time in four decades that the gurdwara management has sought help from the government to meet the need for supplies to its kitchen.

Divya Goyal

Ludhiana – Panjab – India, 29 March 2020. Not once in its 90-year existence did Ludhiana’s Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib run out of wheat flour for its langar kitchen.

But as it serves over 10,000 meals daily amid the lockdown, the gurdwara is running short of wheat supplies to keep serving parshadas (rotis) to those who turn up for langar and those who look forward to packed meals from its langar kitchen in these unprecedented times due to corona-virus.

It is also for the first time in four decades that the gurdwara management has sought help from the government to meet the need for supplies to its kitchen.

But while people, migrants, daily-wagers and the homeless, continue to show up, Punjab government’s Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs is yet to respond to gurdwara management’s request for wheat bags.

In the meantime, the management has arranged a few tonnes of wheat, but it fears that the stock won’t last long given the surge in demand for langar during lockdown.

Apart from serving langar at the gurdwara, food packets are being supplied by the shrine 24×7.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Prithpal Singh (65), president, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, said: “Langar is the most valuable element of our Punjabi culture and Sikhism.

People and faiths across the globe admire us for langar because in Punjab no one sleeps empty-stomach. Our langar kitchen has been serving 10,000 meals a day at least since always, and now after the curfew, even as the people coming to langar hall has decreased, the demand for packed meals is increasing.”

He added: “We are supplying at least 6,000 meals of packed food a day (twice a day) and then another 5,000 meals (twice a day) are being served to homeless and poor people, mostly migrants, who are still coming to have food.

It was for the first time that we ran short of wheat and we approached the food supplies minister. But they have failed to deliver wheat bags. It was disappointing as well as heartbreaking.”

Gurdwara president said that they are ready to supply double the capacity of food packets, but for that they need wheat. “I personally called Food Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and asked for help apprising him of entire situation. We have always paid and bought grocery for langar.

Even now we were ready to pay to government also but the department did not deliver us wheat bags. At last, we have arranged some stock on our own through arthiyas (commission agents) but we do not know how long it will last,” he said.

Temporarily, the gurdwara has now arranged 23 tonnes of wheat from arthiyas paying Rs 21,085 per tonne but seeing that demand for meals has been increasing with 2-2.5 tonnes being consumed each day, it might last for next 7-10 days or less.

“It all depends on how many food packets are delivered apart from sangat still visiting langar hall. At least 5,000 (twice a day) are still coming to gurdwara to have food, mostly daily wagers and migrants. We cannot deny food to anyone. We are also supplying food to temples and mosques.

Assi ajj tak kisi aggey hath ni failaaya, sarkar agge vi ni (We have never begged for anything from government or otherwise) but if langar kitchen is expected to deliver cooked food, we need raw material for that. We are even ready to pay for it but the department failed to arrange wheat for us on priority.

We did it on our own,” said Prithpal Singh. He added that there was enough stock for dal (pulses) and vegetables are being brought on daily basis but all they need is wheat flour.

“This situation would have been avoided had our wheat crop on 40 acres of land owned by gurdwara had not been damaged due to untimely rains or if some time was given to prepare for curfew instead of sudden announcement,” he said.

The kitchen at gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, among the largest in Punjab, serves meals (dal, roti and vegetables) to at least 10,000 persons apart from tea-snacks langar (once a day). The kitchen has capacity to produce 4,500 rotis in an hour. “We can arrange another roti making machine and double up the capacity.

But we need at least 30 tonnes of wheat more for lockdown till 14 April. People are coming to ask for food packets. Today also food was supplied in Haibowal and Dugri areas,” said Pithpal Singh, who has been a sewadar at the gurdwara for over 34 years.

When contacted, Arvinder Sandhu, Inspector, Food & Civil Supplies Department, said: “There were some issues such as transportation and scarcity of wheat and we have informed higher officials about wheat shortage being faced by gurdwara. District Food Supplies Controller will be the right person to comment on it.”

Sukhwinder Singh Gill, District Food Supplies Controller, said that wheat stock lying with them belongs to central government and for that they have to get permission from Food Corporation of India (FCI) to supply it to the gurdwara.

“We cannot issue wheat bags to anyone without FCI’s permission. We will try solving issue on Monday and gurdwara can buy wheat from us for Rs 20,080 per tonne,” he said.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-coronavirus-lockdown-ludhiana-gurdwara-langar-6336934/

Melle Leeuw – Gent: Sint-Lucas hospital

Melle Leeuw
Terminus of Tram 2
06 March 2020


Left the tram that just came in
Right the tram ready to depart

Gent Sint-Lucas Hospital
Faiths and Beliefs in the Healthcare sector
Profundo – Orbit and Voem
06 March 2020


Left the moderator and at the table four speakers
of different faith and belief traditions
and working in different sectors of healthcare.

Three more pictures will be uploaded later this morning

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Globe Newswire – United Sikhs calls for decisive action after the massacre of 24 Sikhs in Afghanistan

International resettlement of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus may be the only viable option

New York – New York State – USA, 28 March 2020. United Sikhs is deeply saddened in the wake of Wednesday’s cowardly attack on Gurdwara Guru Har Rai in Shor Bazar, Kabul, Afghanistan which left 24 Sikhs dead and scores injured. The Sikh worshippers had gathered to pray for the world in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that has gripped the globe.

Sadly their prayers were shattered by the bullets of terror. United Sikhs is in touch with the families on the ground and has setup a GoFundMe page along with Facebook campaign for urgent assistance to the Afghani Sikhs impacted by this horrific act of violence.

The assistance will be two-folds, Advocacy to rehabilitate and Humanitarian Aid for urgent and emergency needs. United Sikhs urges the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Pakistan and other countries to answer the plea of the Sikhs and give them Special Protected Status.

Special entry into their countries via protected asylum, relocation, security and/or rebuilding efforts must be undertaken on an urgent basis. United Sikhs is working with the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres to speed up the migration of the Afghan Sikhs with UNHCR.

We realize that the only plausible option is international resettlement along with a process where the Sikh heritage in Afghanistan can be preserved.

In the past 48 hours United Sikhs has contacted the Afghan Sikh community in Afghanistan to assess their immediate needs through our chapter in Peshawar, Pakistan. Our legal wing has contacted the Afghanistan Ambassadors in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and Kenya to seek security and safety of all remaining Sikhs in Afghanistan.

We have reached out to the UN Rapporteurs to familiarize them with the issue at hand while seeking migration assistance for the Afghan families. We have urged the global community on social media to write to their congressmen, members of parliament and relevant law makers asking them to condemn this terrorist attack.

United Sikhs has been advocating for the Afghan Sikhs since 2015 when refugee status was sought in Canada with the leadership of Alberta MLA Manmeet Singh Bhullar before his tragic passing. In 2018 after the Jalalabad bombing left 12 Sikh leaders dead, United Sikhs presented before the 39th session of the Human Rights Council the plight of the Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan.

Later that year a petition was filed in the Canadian Parliament seeking safe passage. In the USA, over the past few years, the State Department has been approached as well as direct meetings taken place with Ambassador Brownback of the Office of International Religious Freedom.

Alarmingly, a second attack occurred when an explosion jolted the grieving families while performing the final rites of the deceased. Afghanistan has historically been home to hundreds of thousands of Sikhs for centuries.

However due to the constant targeted violence the Sikh population has dwindled to barely one thousand, made up of less than 300 families, with only a few gurdwaras (houses of worship and learning) functioning in the country.

One of the reasons some have been hesitant to leave Afghanistan has been to safeguard and protect their historical institutions. However with the constant carnage and devastation there remains very little in an alternative.

Globally, all United Sikhs chapters stand unified in its condemning of the violence against the Sikh community in Afghanistan. The Sikh faith believes in bringing out the mutual understanding, respect and dignity of ALL people. Together, we join the world in supporting the families of those lost to this terrorist and senseless attack on our community.

About United Sikhs: United Sikhs is a UNO affiliated, international non-profit, non-governmental, humanitarian relief, human development and advocacy organization, aimed at empowering those in need, especially disadvantaged and minority communities across the world.

United Sikhs is registered: as a non-profit tax-exempt organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code in the USA; as a Registered Charity in England and Wales under the Charities Act 1993, Charity Number 111 2055; registered in Australia as a not for profit NGO (ABN 24 317 847 103); and is a registered NGO in Belgium; as a non-profit organization in Canada; under the Societies Registration Act 1860 in Panjab and as a tax-exempt organisation under section 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961; under the French Association Law 1901; under the Societies Registration Act 1860 in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan; as a registered society under the Registrar of Societies in Malaysia (registered as UNITED SIKHS Malaysia Humanitarian Aid Organisation- Regn No: PPM-015-14-06042015); and an NGO pending registration in the Republic of Ireland.

Gurvinder Singh United Sikhs
1.469.222.6288
gurvinder.singh@unitedsikhs.org

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/03/28/2008008/0/en/UNITED-SIKHS-calls-for-decisive-action-after-the-massacre-of-24-Sikhs-in-Afghanistan.html

The Hindu – Kabul gurdwara attacker left a wide footprint

He did small jobs in Bengaluru, Malaysia, Saudi and Dubai before joining IS

Suhasini Haidar – Vijaita Singh

New Delhi – India, 29 March 2020. The man from Kasaragod in Kerala, who is suspected to be one of the three attackers who killed 25 Sikh worshippers in Kabul, Afghanistan, has been on the move since he was 16, taking up small jobs in Bengaluru, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Dubai before making his way to Afghanistan to join the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, the body of Tian Singh, the lone Indian killed in the March 25 attack, is expected to be brought to India on Monday, sources told The Hindu. His body will be brought on one of the special flights expected this week to take out about 2,500 Afghan tourists and temporary visitors.

On 25 March, his widow Rajeet Kaur and one son, Jagmeet Singh, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for an early repatriation of his last remains, as all commercial flights had been cancelled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sources said the government gave special permission to the Afghan embassy in Delhi to operate several special flights, the first of which flew to Kabul on Saturday, and also put in a request for the return of Tian Singh’s body.

Two other children who are unable to travel from London have also tweeted an appeal for visas from the Indian High Commission in London and permission to return and “attend and perform the last rites” of their father.

A loner with no known friends in India, Muhammed Muhsin, 29, is said to have contacted his mother about nine months ago Telegram, when he was thought to be in Dubai, a senior official said. Muhsin, he said, had asked his mother to join a group called ‘Gentleman’ on the app.

On March 26, she received a message from a Telegram ID, ‘@war3030’, that her son was dead.

One of his brothers confirmed to security agencies that the photograph of the attacker published by Al Naba, the propaganda wing of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), is that of Muhsin’s.

The officials have claimed that though Muhsin was never on the radar of the police, the security agencies had noticed his father’s mobile phone number in a WhatsApp group created by Rashid Abdullah, alias Abu Isa, who led the group of 21 men and women from Kerala that had left India in 2016.

“While verifying the details of the members of the WhatsApp group moderated by Rashid, it was found that Muhsin was then in Dubai,” said the official. The official said Muhsin dropped out of a government school in Class XI. He also went to a madrassa in Class VII.

He moved to Bengaluru to work in a hotel but returned after a year. He then moved to Dubai where he worked at Emirates Petroleum. On his return, he moved to Malaysia.

“He came back in 2015, stayed for a few months in Kerala only to move to Saudi Arabia in 2016,” the official said. He came from Saudi Arabia in 2018 and stayed in Kerala for four months. He left for Dubai the same year and did not return. He last contacted his mother nine months ago.

As reported by The Hindu, the family did not inform the police that Muhsin was missing. Officials suspect he moved to Afghanistan from Dubai to join the ISKP.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kabul-attacker-left-a-wide-footprint/article31195055.ece