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“Sadly, Not First Such Case”: India Slams Pak Over Killing Of 2 Sikhs

No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. (Representational)

New Delhi:

India has registered a “strong protest” with the government of Pakistan over the recent killing of two people belonging to the Sikh community in Peshawar on Sunday. “Sadly, this is not the first such case or a rare occurrence,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a strongly-worded statement further terming it a “shocking and deplorable incident”.

In response to media queries on what the foreign ministry called the “target killing” of two Sikh traders, the government spokesperson said, “We have seen the reports on brutal killing of two Sikh traders by unidentified armed men in Peshawar. Sadly, this is not the first such case or a rare occurrence.”

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 had rushed to the spot and encircled the area to arrest 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.

“We have registered our strong protest with the Government of Pakistan on continued targeting of members of the minority community in Pakistan. We call upon the authorities concerned to sincerely investigate the matter and take strict action against those responsible for this deplorable incident,” the ministry spokesperson said.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan had strongly condemned the attack and directed the police to take immediate steps to 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 dead. In September last year, a well-known Sikh ‘hakeem’ (Unani medicine practitioner) was shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside his clinic in Peshawar.

The Indian government has said it expects the government of Pakistan to fulfil its responsibilities to look after the safety, security and well-being of its minority communities.

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