Sikh medicinal practitioner gunned down in Peshawar

    Unknown assailants gunned down a Sikh hakeem (medicinal practitioner) in Peshawar on Sept 30.

    The police have identified the victim as Satnam Singh who was attacked in his clinic in the limits of Faqirabad police station. He was shot four times by the assailants who managed to escape from the scene.

    A brother of the victim told the local police that Satnam Singh had gone from his home in Mohallah Jogan Shah to his clinic where unknown attackers killed him. He said that he had no enmity with anyone.

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    Faqirabad SHO Ejaz Nabi said that they were investigating the incident. He said it was not clear at this moment whether this was a case of targeted killing or had some other motive.

    Ameer Singh, president of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, condemned the killing in a video message.

    “It’s a heartbreaking tragedy. We are proud of being citizens of this country but some forces are trying to disrupt this brotherhood, peace and love. I appeal to the government of Pakistan to uncover them and crush them with an iron hand to prevent future incidents,” he said.

    Activists worldwide expressed similar concerns. “Attacks against minorities in Pakistan continue. Yet the country’s PM has the audacity to lecture the world on minorities,” Hinna Nazir, a Kashmiri, said in a tweet.

    According to Radesh Singh Tony, a Sikh rights activist, 10 Sikhs have been killed in Peshawar in recent years.

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    “The government speaks of protecting minorities on one hand but their beloved terrorists easily murder innocent people. The government and police just watch the show. None of the victims have got justice,” he said.

    About 15,000 Sikhs live in Peshawar, mostly in the Jogan Shah neighborhood. Most Sikhs are involved in business, while some also run pharmacies. Hindu and Sikh businessmen in Muslim-majority Pakistan often complain of threats for extortion money.

    In 2018, Charanjit Singh, a veteran Sikh peace activist known for his active contribution to interfaith harmony, was shot dead by unknown men in Peshawar.

    Last year Ravinder Singh, 25, who lived in Malaysia and had returned home for his wedding, was murdered in Mardan city in the Northern Province. In 2016, Minority Affairs Minister Sardar Soran Singh, the first Sikh to sit in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s assembly, was killed in front of his home in Bacha Killay village in mountainous Buner district.

    In June, handwritten pamphlets threatening Hindu traders appeared in markets of Wadh town of Balochistan province where Hindu businessman Ashok Kumar was gunned down.

    The Punjabi Nationalist Forum also condemned the murder of Satnam Singh and demanded the immediate arrest of his killers and to disclose the facilitators of killers.

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