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Two Sikh traders shot dead in Peshawar, Sikh community protest killings

The Islamic State Wilayah Khorasan (ISKP) is reported to have claimed responsibility for the killing of the two Sikh traders, who were identified as Saljeet Singh (42) and Ranjeet Singh (38).

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Peshawar: In another incident of violence against minorities in Pakistan, two Sikhs were shot dead by unidentified armed men in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on Sunday. The Sikh community marched the streets of Peshawar in protest against the targeted killing.

The Islamic State Wilayah Khorasan (ISKP) is reported to have claimed responsibility for the killing of the two Sikh traders, who were identified as Saljeet Singh (42) and Ranjeet Singh (38).

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The two men were sitting at their shop when they were shot dead by two bike-borne assailants. According to the police, the assailants arrived on a motorcycle and fled after the shooting. A search operation has been launched to trace the culprits, the police said.

The Counter-Terrorism Department registered a case against the murder of the Sikh men, Saddar SP Aqiq Hussain said.

The Sikh community of Peshawar took to the roads to protest the killings. According to reports, they blocked the Peshawar -Islamabad road in front of Qila Bala Hissar.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) strongly condemned the murders. “This is not the first time that the Sikh community in KP has been targeted and we demand that the KP police identify and arrest the perpetrators promptly.”

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the incident and directed the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to ensure immediate arrest and punishment of the murderers.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan also ordered immediate action to arrest the murderers.

Declaring the incident a conspiracy to destabilise Peshawar’s environment and inter-faith harmony, Khan assured justice to the affected families.
“The provincial government will not let such bids harm the inter-religious harmony be successful,” the chief minister said.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah sought a report from the KP chief secretary and inspector general of police. “The KP government has terribly failed at protecting the minorities,” Rana Sanaullah said, indicating past incidents of violence against Sikh citizens in KP.

He urged the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and the provincial government to ensure the security of minorities and assured assistance from the federal government for the arrest of the culprits.

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