External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, several other political leaders and Sikh bodies on Saturday strongly condemned the attack on a Gurdwara in Kabul and urged the Centre to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of minorities in Afghanistan.
Taking to Twitter, the EAM expressed concern over the welfare of the Sikh community in Afghanistan. "The cowardly attack on Gurudwara Karte Parwan should be condemned in the strongest terms by all. We have been closely monitoring developments since the news of the attack was received. Our first and foremost concern is for the welfare of the community," Jaishankar tweeted.
"Strongly condemn the attack at Gurudwara Karte Parwan in Kabul. Have heard reports of shots being fired at devotees, I'm praying for everyone's safety. I urge PM @narendramodi ji and @MEAIndia for immediate assistance to ensure the safety of minorities in Kabul," wrote Bhagwant Mann.
The Punjab CM, later in a statement, said, "This is an inhuman act and I urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the safety and security of the Sikhs residing in Kabul." He said the government of India must ensure the safety of the Sikhs in the gurdwara.
"A decisive and swift action needs to be taken by the prime minister in this hour of crisis," he said.
It is very unfortunate that the terrorists had not even spared the religious shrines for carrying out such brutal activities, Mann said, adding the incident has once again proved that the terrorist do not have any religion.
Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said that he was deeply concerned over the attack on the Gurdwara in Kabul.
"Praying to Waheguru Ji for the safety of all the devotees & citizens stuck inside the premises. Urge the MEA to look into this matter & ensure the safety of all devotees. @DrSjaishankar," said Singh in a tweet.
Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal also urged the Centre to take up the matter with Afghan authorities.
"Extremely concerned at the tragic news of militant attack on Gurdwara Sahib in Kabul. While we all pray for the security of our brothers and sisters, I urge GoI to prevail over Afganistan authorities to ensure all our Sikh families are safe," said Warring.
"Strongly condemn the ISIS attack on Gurdwara Karte Parwan, Kabul. While praying for the safety of all present in Gurdwara, I urge PM @narendramodi & EAM @DrSjaishankar to take up the matter with Afghanistan govt & ensure the security of all Sikh families & their religious places," said Badal in a tweet.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Harjinder Singh Dhami said the attack has hurt Sikhs across the globe and urged the Centre to take steps for the evacuation of remaining Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan.
"I appeal to Punjab govt and Central govt to provide security to Sikhs who are present there or bring them here (to India)," he said.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President Harmeet Singh Kalka also appealed to the Centre to "take care of minorities in Afghanistan". He said the Indian government has assured to help people with their Visa to come to India.
Know all about the attack:
Several blasts ripped through the Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul on Saturday, killing two persons and injuring seven others, while security personnel thwarted a bigger tragedy by stopping an explosive-laden vehicle from reaching the place of worship of the minority community in the war-torn country.
The Karte Parwan Gurdwara was attacked early Saturday morning and a gun battle between the terrorists and Taliban fighters ensued, said Abdul Nafi Takor, a Taliban-appointed spokesperson for the Interior Ministry.
The attackers were killed, Takor said, without giving the exact details about the number of the attackers.
He confirmed that at least one member of the Islamic Emirate forces and an Afghan Hindu national were killed in the incident. Seven others were injured and hospitalised.
According to the statement from the Interior Ministry, an explosive-laden vehicle aiming to target the place was thwarted before reaching its goal.
The Gurdwara was attacked early in the morning when up to 30 people were inside, the BBC reported.
(With PTI inputs)