Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing back the ‘Swaroop of Shri Guru Granth Sahib' from Afghanistan, the BJP said on Tuesday that the initiative has sent a strong message to the Sikhs across the globe that the government of India is committed to protect people as well as their religious scriptures.
Amid the ongoing chaos and unrest in Afghanistan, the Indian government is continuously engaged in evacuating Indian as well as Afghan nationals from the war-torn nation.
Accordingly, a special Air India flight from Kabul landed at the IGi airport here on Tuesday carrying 44 Afghan Sikhs, who brought three copies of Guru Granth Sahib with them.
BJP spokesperson R.P. Singh, who received the holy scriptures at the IGI airport along with Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and V. Muraleedharan, told IANS that Sikhs are thankful to Prime Minister Modi for bringing back the Guru Granth Sahib from Afghanistan.
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"Guru Granth Sahib is the holiest book for Sikhs and Prime Minister Modi ensured that it was safely brought back from Kabul. The initiative shows that while evacuating people, the Modi government is also taking care of their religious scriptures," Singh said.
Singh also pointed out that nothing is safe in Afghanistan, which includes people, religious places and books and lauded the efforts of Sikhs who safely brought back the holy scriptures with them.
"The initiative also boosts the morale of Sikhs and other people of Indian origin who are still in Afghanistan that the government of India will safely evacuate them in the coming days," Singh said.
Singh also criticised BJP's former ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for demanding extension of the cut-off date for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) for granting citizenship to religious minorities persecuted in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh from 2014 to 2021.
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SAD leader and president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, has urged the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to amend CAA and extend the cut-off date from 2014 to 2021 so that people coming from Afghanistan get benefitted.
"Akalis opposed the CAA and walked away from the alliance with the BJP just before the Assembly polls in Delhi in February 2020. Now they are demanding extension of the cut-off date. They must explain why they opposed the CAA in the first place," Singh said.