Govt has assured visas to 600 Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan: DSGMC

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Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjinder Singh Sirsa met External Affairs Ministry officials on Monday and claimed that he had been assured that 600 Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan will be issued visas by India in the coming days.

A delegation led by Sirsa met the incharge of Afghanistan and Pakistan desk of the ministry, JP Singh, a DSGMC statement said.

Sirsa told reporters that he took up the issue of bringing to India the remaining Hindu and Sikh families from Afghanistan and the ministry assured him that 600 people whose list is ready will be given visas within a week.

“India will issue visas to all remaining Hindu and Sikhs families to repatriate them as soon as possible. This assurance was given to the DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa here today,” the statement said.

Sirsa claimed that the ministry has assured him that the Hindus and Sikhs will be issued “long term” visas.

Those left out can apply for visa and will get the same as soon as they will apply, the statement said.

“We will ensure that those Hindu and Sikh families left out in Afghanistan are brought here,” Sirsa said thanking the government and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

Eleven members of Sikh and Hindu communities from Afghanistan who were allegedly “persecuted” there reached Delhi”s IGI airport on Sunday.

Sirsa said he also took up the issue of conversion of Shaheedi Asthan of Bhai Taru Singh ji at Lahore, which is a gurudwara, into a mosque.

India had on Monday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan High Commission over the issue, according a spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Sirsa was accompanied by DSGMC members Paramjit Singh Chandhok, Harvinder Singh KP, Jasmen Singh Noni and Gurdev Singh Bhola, the statement said.

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