Sikh holy scriptures arrive from Kabul, received by Indian minister

Three copies of Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, were flown to India from Kabul along with Indian citizens and 46 Afghan nationals as part of the government's evacuation efforts from Afghanistan

Aug 24, 2021
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Sikh holy scriptures arrive from Kabul

Three copies of Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, were flown to India from Kabul along with Indian citizens and 46 Afghan nationals as part of the government's evacuation efforts from Afghanistan. Indian Petroleum and Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, the only Sikh in the Modi cabinet, received the copies of the Sikh holy scripture at the Delhi airport Tuesday morning.

The minister tweeted a video of him carrying one of the copies on his head with reverence, with two others carrying the other copies, and chanting "Satnam Shri Waheguru" as he walked barefoot on the aerobridge. Minister of State (MoS) External Affairs V Muraleedharan too was present.

Puri on Monday had shared photos of three copies in three suitcases being carried at Kabul airport.

"3 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are being escorted to the @IAF_MCC aircraft at Kabul Airport.  46 Afghan Hindus & Sikhs along with stranded Indian nationals are blessed to return on the same flight (sic)," Puri tweeted.

A special Indian Air Force flight flew the evacuees from the Afghanistan capital to Tajikistan's Dushanbe on Monday. An Air India flight with 78 passengers, including 25 Indian citizens, landed in New Delhi from Dushanbe.

The passengers on board the Air India flight chanted ''Wahe Guru ki Khalsa, Wahe Guru ki Fateh'' for their safe evacuation from the crisis-hit country, NDTV said.

"Helping in the safe return from Afghanistan. AI 1956 en route to Delhi from Dushanbe carrying 78 passengers, including 25 Indian nationals. Evacuees were flown in from Kabul on an @IAF_MCC aircraft. @IndEmbDushanbe (sic)," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted this morning.

With Monday's evacuation, the number of people brought back to Delhi has gone up to around 730 since August 16 when the first group was airlifted from Kabul, a day after the Taliban seized control of the Afghan capital city.
 
India has stepped up efforts to evacuate its citizens as well as its Afghan partners from Kabul because of the worsening security situation in Kabul and other parts of the country after the Taliban swept to power last week.
 
India had said it would "facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan" and said Hindus and Sikhs from the country will be given priority.