Two people belonging to the Sikh community were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the Sarband area here on Sunday, a suburban locality situated in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, authorities said.
The two men killed were shopkeepers who sold spices in Bata Tal bazaar in Sarband, police said. The victims, identified as Saljeet Singh (42) and Ranjeet Singh (38), died on the spot.
Police rushed to the spot and have encircled the area to nab the culprits. No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. About 15,000 Sikhs live in Peshawar, mostly in the Jogan Shah neighbourhood of the provincial capital. Most of the members of the Sikh community in Peshawar are involved in business, while some also run pharmacies.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has strongly condemned the attack and directed the police to take immediate steps arrest the culprits. He termed the incident a conspiracy against disrupting the inter-faith harmony and said that justice will be provided to the families of the deceased.
In September last year, a well-known Sikh ‘hakeem’ (Unani medicine practitioner) was shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside his clinic in Peshawar. In 2018, Charanjit Singh, a prominent Sikh community member, was killed by unknown men in Peshawar.
Similarly, news channel anchor named Ravinder Singh was killed in 2020 in the city. In 2016, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf National Assembly member Soren Singh was also killed in Peshawar.
According to the 2017 census, Hindus constitute the largest religious minority in Pakistan. Christians make up the second-largest religious minority. The Ahmadis, Sikhs and Parsis are also among the notable religious minorities in Pakistan.