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Specific targeting of Sikhs in Afghanistan : Chakma

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The murder of 25 Sikhs by a member of the Islamic State group on 25 March 2020 at a Gurdwara in the heart of Kabul and another blast targeting those attending the funeral the next day on 26 March expose specific targeting and absolute vulnerability of the Sikh minorities in Afghanistan, a top human rights activist has said.

“The inability of the Afghanistan government to provide modicum of security to them, and absence of any alternative for about 800 Sikh families of Afghanistan but to leave the country,” said Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of the Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG).

“However, if the Sikhs are to flee to India today, they not qualify for citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) as the CAA puts the cut-off date as 31 December 2014 to qualify as a beneficiary. 

“If they come to India without visas, as illegal immigrants they shall never get citizenship under the Citizenship Act of 2003. If they come with visas and the government continues to extend their visas, they shall have to wait for 11 years. The atrocities on the Sikhs of Afghanistan and their imminent exodus at present also expose the short-sightedness of the BJP led Central government and its sham concerns for the minorities fleeing killings and persecution. 

“The atrocities and persecution of minorities had not ended on 31 December 2014 and the BJP led government has no interest to address them,”  Mr Chakma added.

“The massacre of the Sikhs by the Islamic State group calls for the repeal of the CAA and enactment of a refugee law in conformity with India’s constitutional values and international human rights law, to provide refuge to those fleeing persecution and killings.” – also stated Mr Chakma

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