The expatriate Sikh community in Manchester is rising to the occasion to help the people of the country it now calls home, providing free food and transport, and at times even a place to stay for the night, after a terror attack killed 22 people at a concert by Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena.
While the attacker is believed to be among the deceased — having detonated his explosive at the end of the concert — there is still widespread panic among the people in and around the area. The Victoria Coach station was evacuated after a suspicious package was found there.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) May 23, 2017
Then, a big bang led to the evacuation of the Arndale shopping centre after a “bang” was heard there, and a man subsequently arrested from there. However, it later transpired that he might have had nothing to do with the concert attack.
Help from Sikhs and Hindus
The Sikh community in Manchester has been reaching out to those affected by the late-night terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena. At the forefront is cab driver AJ Singh, who ferried people away from the attack venue all night long, and did not charge a single penny for his service!
In a TV interview, he is heard saying: “I have had people who needed to find their loved ones. I have dropped them [people injured in the attack] at the hospital.” However, he had a word of solidarity to deliver on behalf of his community as well! He said: “Whoever did this, we need to show them that we in Manchester are like glue. We stick together.”
Gurudwaras open doors
Meanwhile, Gurudwaras — also called Gurdwaras, which are traditional Sikh places of worship — made food and shelter free for people who were looking for it in the Manchester area after the blast.
Gurudwaras traditionally hold something called langar — or community kitchen — where food is brought in, prepared and served by members of the community itself. Any person can eat there, irrespective of religious belief. Also, like most places of worship, they have enough space to accommodate people for the night in cases of emergencies. That is exactly what was happening across Manchester, as was pointed out by this Twitter user:
— Harjinder S Kukreja (@SinghLions) May 23, 2017
Meanwhile, the Sikh Council UK has condemned the attacks, and also said in a tweet: “Our thoughts and prayers are with victims and families.”
News Source: IB Times