A day after a Christian law pastor was shot dead and another injured by unidentified gunmen in the northwestern city of Peshawar, a Hindu trader was gunned down in Daharki town in Ghotki district, Sindh, late on Monday night.
According to reports, Sutan Lal Dewan, 50, was shot dead by armed men when he was returning home from an inauguration ceremony at a cotton factory. Family sources claimed that the deceased had been receiving death threats for quite some time but the police did not respond to his pleas for protection. They said that this was the second time the trader had been targeted.
Dewan’s relative Harish Kumar was injured in the attack and shifted to a hospital in Rahimyar Khan in Punjab province for treatment.
Days before the fatal attack, a video of an injured Sutan Lal went viral on social media in which he can be seen saying that he has been attacked and that his life was in danger. He claimed his nephew and four accomplices had attacked him over a land dispute and were continuing to issue death threats against him.
Sutan Lal also claimed in the video that the assailants had told him to escape to India if he wanted to stay alive. However, Sutan Lal said that despite the threats to his life, he will not leave his motherland, Pakistan.
Following Lal’s murder, members from both the Hindu and Muslim communities staged a demonstration in front of the Daharki Police Station and demanded the immediate arrest of the killers. Businesses across Daharki were shut down to mourn the death of the Hindu trader.
In a tweet, the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Minority wing said, “Yesterday it was a Christian [and] today a Hindu citizen is assassinated in Daharki Sindh. Minorities are among the most vulnerable here.”
Yesterday it was a Christian & today a Hindu citizen is assassinated in Dehrki Sindh. Minorities are among the most vulnerable here, The state should protect them. Our prayers are with the bereaved family & community,We demand action against those who committed this heinous crime https://t.co/7exkZXBn7D
— PMLN Minorities (@PMLNMinorities) January 31, 2022
PML-N MNA Kheeal Das Kohistani said, “Persecution of minorities begins once again. The lives and property of minorities have begun to be snatched away.”
The PML-N MNA added that he was speaking with local law enforcement who would pursue the perpetrators and provide protection to the victim’s family.
Just spoke to IG Sindh again in the saddest matter of Sattan Kumar who was murdered last night,3 people in regard have been arrested,Police is working hard,Deharki Sahab Darbar Saien Sadharam Sahab will also be given police protection.
— Kheeal Das Kohistani (@KesooMalKheealD) February 1, 2022
Krishan Sharma, the regional leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) minority wing, held the Sindh government responsible for their alleged failure to protect religious minorities in the province.
“It was the responsibility of the area police and other authorities to do justice with the victim when he was attacked and injured in the first attack,” he said. He added that he would take up the matter with the top leadership of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in Sindh.
On Sunday, unidentified gunmen, riding a motorcycle, opened fire on Pastor Patrick Naeem and lay pastor William Siraj following the Sunday mass at the All Saints Church Ring Road in Peshawar.
Siraj died on the spot while Patrick was rushed to a hospital with bullet wounds where, according to the doctors, he was discharged after treatement.