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Another Sikh businessman gunned down in Peshawar

Sardar Dayal Singh, the victim, was a resident of Mohalla Jogan Shah.
by TNN Editor - 31 Mar, 2023 1607
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Another Sikh businessman, in Peshawar on Friday, was gunned down by unidentified motorcyclists, the Metropolitan police have confirmed.

Sardar Dayal Singh, a resident of Mohalla Jogan Shah, used to travel from Dabgari to his rental grocery shop on Kohat Road every day and returned around 5 o'clock in the evening. An Rs2000 per month rental shop was the only source of livelihood for his family, hence barely being able to sustain themselves, the police reported.

According to the police, the firing incident took place within the jurisdiction of Rehman Baba police station. Malik Habib Khan, SP Sadar Division, along with the local police immediately reached the spot and conducted a detailed inspection of the incident site.

Also Read: Khyber district Sikh community relocating to other areas of country

Later, SSP Operations Haroon-ul-Rashid Khan went to the slain shopkeeper's residence to express his condolences to the aggrieved relatives of the Sikh businessman. He also informed them informed about the police findings so far and assured them to arrest the killers as soon as possible.

The official said the CCTV footage of the incident has also been obtained and the routes of the killers are being determined by starting a comprehensive investigation from various angles in the light of important evidence.

He said the protection of the life and property of the deceased is the top priority for which the police are using all available resources.

On the other hand, the Sikh community has strongly condemned the incident of firing, terming it an act of terrorism.

Radesh Singh Tony, Chairman of the Minority Rights Forum Pakistan, said in a statement that 27 members of the Sikh community have so far been killed in similar attacks, "This was the 28th incident, however, the government has completely failed to protect its citizens."

Tony, demanding the arrest of the killers, said yesterday a Hindu doctor was killed in Karachi and today a Sikh shopkeeper was gunned down in Peshawar, however, to date not a single killer involved in the killing of the Sikh community members has been arrested.

On May 5 last year, two Sikh businessmen, cousins of Dayal Singh, were targeted and killed by unknown assailants in the Sarband area of Peshawar.

It's pertinent t mention that the first incident of target killing of the Sikh community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa occurred in January 2014 when Bhagwan Singh, the owner of a medical store in the Tangi area of Charsadda, was killed by unknown gunmen.

Radesh Singh Tony claims that since 2014, 24 people in the community have been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and there has been no progress in arresting the killers. Since Sikhs are more easily identified among minorities, that is probably why they are being increasingly targeted.

He said the Sikh community no longer considers Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as safe for them and is moving to other provinces, especially Punjab.

Ironically, separate data on the Sikh community has not been compiled in the 2017 census, however, Babaji Gorpal Singh of Peshawar claims that there are 11 hundred families of the Sikh community living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a total population of 25,000 to 30,000.

The Sikh community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is mostly settled in Peshawar. Earlier, hundreds of families of the Sikh community living in tribal districts of Kurram and Khyber were forced to migrate to Peshawar due to militancy and military operations. Most of them settled around different Gurdwaras, however now, even here they do not consider themselves safe.