Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Hindus Get Site for Last Rites

By Shahabuddin Tarakhel

Community leader Awtar Singh credits an IWPR report in November with helping prompt Kabul municipal leaders to provide a large plot in Pul-i-Charkhi, about 12 kilometres east of the capital, so the small community can perform its burial rituals. (To read the report, see: Funeral Woes for Hindus )

Anaar Kali, a Loya Jirga delegate representing Hindus and Sikhs, said that after reading the report, she raised the issue with President Hamed Karzai himself at a social function.

Singh said that the new plot would be in exchange for the older ground in Khumdan Qalacha, which sat unused during years of conflict. During that time, Muslim housing was built close to the boundaries, and neighbours objected when Hindus once again sought to hold cremations there.

Local residents in Khumdan Qalacha are pleased that the issue has been resolved. Shopkeeper Aman emphasised that it was not Hindu people they objected to, but cremation ceremonies so close to a residential area.

Shahabuddin Terakhel is an independent journalist in Kabul.