September 23, 2014

PAKISTAN: Sikh community of Peshawar under threat

  Last Updated On  23 September,2014 About 3 hours from now

Another incident of target killing of a Sikh trader sparked protests in Peshawar.

PESHAWAR (Dunya News) – Attacks on the Sikh community of Peshawar have risen in the past two months in Pakistan. Another incident of target killing of a Sikh trader on Saturday sparked protests in Peshawar as the Sikh protestors blocked the main University Road of Peshawar, Dunya News reported. The Sikh protestors demanded justice and the immediate arrest of the perpetrators. Harjeet Singh,30, resident of Dabgari owned a grocery shop in Nothia Bazaar of Peshawar. He was present at his shop on Saturday when two unknown assailants on a motorcycle opened fire on him and killed him on the spot. According to police, Harjeet Singh received four bullets and succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the incident.

 The minorities in Pakistan continue to live in an environment of constant fear amid the growing terrorism. Harjeet's murder is the third incident of violent attacks on minorities in Peshawar. Earlier in September, Jagmohan Singh aged 19 was gunned down outside his shop in Hashtnagri by some unidentified men. As a result of the incident, the Sikh community took to GT Road carrying Jagmohan's dead body. The road remained blocked for several hours while tyres were set to fire and slogans raised demanding justice and protection for the Sikh community. The protest came to halt after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak met the protestors and announced to provide protection to the minorities. In the same month, Amarjeet Singh was killed in a firing incident in Mardan whereas On August 6, some unknown armed men opened fire at three sikh traders resulting in the death of one of them.

 Peshawar's Sikh community centre connected with Gurdwara Bhai Jogan Singh remained crowded by those coming in to offer their condolences on the death of Harjeet Singh.
 All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement Chairman Haroon Sarb Diyal was also present in solidarity with the Sikh community and condemned the murder of the Sikh trader. Both the Sikh and Hindu right activists demanded the government to provide protection to minorities. Harjeet Singh has left behind a wife, three daughters and a son.

 According to police an investigation of the murder incident is underway. The police claimed that the murder of the Sikh trader was an act of terrorism and therefore a case has been registered under the terrorism law. He assured that the police was making efforts in order to arrest the attackers. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has condemned the murder of the Sikh trader Harjeet Singh terming it as an act of terrorism. He has given a three days deadline to the police to catch the unknown assassins. He has also announced a compensation for the family of Harjeet Singh, assuring them that security would be provided to the Sikh community of Peshawar.

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