A fresh batch of Afghan Sikhs returned to India on Sunday (25 September) by a special flight arranged by the Indian government.
India is now home to 20,000 Afghan Sikhs while only 43 of them remain in their native country Afghanistan, The Times of India has reported.
The fresh batch comprised of 55 people - 38 adults, 14 children and three infants. The refugees told the media that the 43 Afghan Sikhs who continue to remain in Afghanistan are those who are protecting copies of the Sikh holy text Guru Granth Sahib.
Sikhs consider the religious text as a living guru and worship it like a deity.
The refugees have been accommodated at Gurdwara Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji in New Delhi's New Mahavir Nagar, K Block.
The Taliban, which had regained power in Afghanistan, has refused to allow religious texts or sculptures to be taken away from the country, calling them national heritage.
Earlier in December 2021, Sikhs were allowed to carry their religious texts during evacuation. They were stopped by the Islamic leaders of Taliban in September this year.
The latest evacuation was arranged by the Indian government in coordination with the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and a social organisation Indian World Forum.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.