New Delhi: Two Sikh businessmen were shot dead by the Islamic State terrorists in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, the latest targeted attack against the minority community members in the restive province bordering Afghanistan.
Kuljeet Singh, 42, and Ranjeet Singh, 38, died on the spot after being attacked by two bike-borne assailants in the morning in Bata Tal bazaar of Sarband, Peshawar, the capital of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to the police.
The victims were in the business of spices and had shops in the Bata Tal bazaar in Sarband, about 17 km from Peshawar.
The Islamic State’s Khorasan unit (ISKP) claimed via its propaganda news service ‘Amaaq’ that it carried out the attack targeting two Sikhs in Peshawar. The ISKP is an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) active in South Asia and Central Asia.
Nearly 15,000 Sikhs live in Peshawar, predominantly in the Jogan Shah neighborhood of the provincial capital. Most of the members of the Sikh community in Peshawar are businessmen, while some also run pharmacies.
A large number of angry Sikh protesters blocked the Peshawar-Islamabad road in front of Qila Bala Hissar to register their protest against the killing. They were holding placards against the brutal killings and raising slogans – “Stop target killings”, “We want justice.”
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the incident and directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to ensure the immediate arrest and punishment of the culprits. He also ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident.
Sikh killings in Pak
2021: Hakeem’ Sardar Satnam Singh, 45, was shot dead by unidentified miscreants in Peshawar
2020: Ravinder Singh, a 25-year-old news channel anchor, was killed a day after a mob attacked Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Lahore
2018: Charanjit Singh, a well-known member of the Sikh community, was killed by unknown men in Peshawar
2016: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf National Assembly member Soren Singh was killed in Peshawar.