Child, wife killed, gurdwara sewadar says, ‘Time to leave Kabul’

Written by Divya Goyal
| Ludhiana |

Printed: March 27, 2020 4:23:20 am

A mourner at a funeral Thursday for the victims. (Photograph: Reuters)

In 10 days, Tanya Kaur would have turned 4. She was planning her birthday cake, mentioned her father, Harinder Singh Soni (40), kirtan sewadar on the Gurdwara Har Rai Sahib in Shor Bazar of Kabul, the place 25 had been killed in a terror assault on Wednesday.

Tanya, and her mom, Surpal Kaur (40), had been amongst these killed. Harinder additionally misplaced his father, Nirmal Singh Soni (60), who was the pinnacle granthi of the gurdwara, father-in-law Bhagat Singh (75) and cousin Kulwinder Singh Khalsa (35). His mom, Rawail Kaur, was injured within the assault.

Tanya was three. (Photograph: Reuters)

Harinder’s two different youngsters, Gagandeep Singh (13) and Gurjit Kaur (11), and 4 brothers weren’t within the gurdwara on the time of the assault. Talking to The Indian Express on the telephone, Harinder, who was born in Afghanistan, mentioned: “It is time to leave the country with my mother, children and brothers, before they too are killed.”

Whereas he mentioned 4 armed males had stormed the gurdwara, an AP report quoted Afghanistan’s Inside Ministry as saying {that a} lone Islamic State gunman had carried out the assault.

Editorial | Horror in Kabul

“My daughter was shot in head. She kept shouting, ‘save me daddy, save me daddy’… they kept shooting, even at the heap of bodies lying on the ground,” he mentioned.
Tanya was a scholar of a pre-primary class within the gurdwara. “She had just started learning the alphabets,” mentioned Harinder.

“The local Sikh community had gathered at the gurdwara around 6.30 am for daily prayers as usual. I was on the stage… There were nearly a hundred devotees. Midway through the prayers, a devotee shouted ‘chor aa gaye hai, daaku aaye hain’ (thieves have come), and there was complete chaos,” he recalled.

“Four men stormed inside and started shooting at everyone… I was on the stage. My nephew, Kulwinder, shouted at me to get down. As I got down, the bodies of my wife and daughter fell on me,” mentioned Harinder.

He mentioned the assault lasted for hours. “They were trying to shoot everyone in the head… My wife and father were shot in the chest,” he mentioned.

On Thursday, on the mass funeral in Kabul, every coffin had a notice with the next message: “Nanak naam chardi kala, tere bhane sarbat da bhala” (Nanak, together with your title, could there be peace and happiness for all)”.

Amongst these killed was Moharram Ali, a safety guard on the gurdwara. “He had been working at the gurdwara for about five years now… He was the first to be shot,” mentioned Harinder, who additionally owns a small cosmetics retailer in Kabul,

In accordance to him, there are about 800 Sikh households in Afghanistan, largely in Kabul, Jalalabad and Ghazni. “Many of these families lost a relative in yesterday’s attack. There is hardly any Sikh family left here who hasn’t lost a relative in a terror attack. Most of them want to leave now,” he mentioned.

After Wednesday’s assault, Harinder too needs to leave the nation of his beginning. “Earlier, I used to feel that Afghanistan is my country, but not any longer. I don’t want to live here now,” he mentioned.

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