Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo Friday 19, March 2004 (commentary)
Source: Daily Excelsior
Afghan Sikhs and Hindus constitute the minorities of Afghanistan. In Jalalabad alone, previously these were 700 families, but due to the Talibanisation of Afghanistan only 10-15 families continue to live there. RAWA Report from Afghanistan confirms that the persecution of these minorities is unabated. Quoting eyewitness reports, from Taimani and Karte Pariwan of Kabul, their women were raped and attacked and boys and men were brutalized by being forcibly circumcised during the Taliban regime. Destruction of the famous Bamiyan Buddha and other idols including ancient shrines and temples in Kabul, Kandhar and countryside were razed to the ground to implement the government instructions. These minorities who were a subject of constant attack and harassment left their properties in 1990s and reached India via Pakistan. Dr. F.C. Chandihok, a senior activist of these minorities, who is presently living in Germany as a refugee, is spearheading the campaign for the human rights of these refugees. Ms. Safia Sidiqi, Secretary & Assistant of Afghanistan Constitutional Laya Jirga (National Assembly) in an interview to Rozgaran Magazine confirmed that a Hindu lady, Anarkali, who was nominated to the Laya Jirga (National Assembly) recently, was manhandled and assaulted in the Laya Jirga itself and not allowed to vote for speaking truth in her speech. The minorities who at one time were more than five lakhs have now actually been reduced to 500-700 only. Some of the refugees of Afghanistan continue to live even in India over the last more than a decade. Mr. Tek Chand Sarin, a refugee in exile, in contact with Dr. Chandihok is making a hard attempt to espouse the human rights issues of these hapless people.