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Grand Trunk Road in Peshawar blocked after ISIS-K kills two Sikh brothers

Grand Trunk Road in Peshawar blocked after ISIS-K kills two Sikh brothers

Killings of minorities continue unabated. On Sunday, yet in another attack two motorcycle-borne unidentified gunmen of Islamic States Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (ISKP) an affiliate of ISIS-K opened fire and killed two Sikh shopkeepers early Sunday morning in the crowded Batta Tal Bazaar area of Peshawar's Sarband district in Pakistan. The slain Sikhs are brothers and have their shops in a spice market.  



According to Peshawar police, the victims, identified as Saljeet Singh (42) and Ranjeet Singh (38), died on the spot.



The Sikhs of Peshawar  along with residents of the city have blocked the Grand Trunk road, demanding compensation and protection after the terror incident. 



In a message on social media, ISKP claimed that today's killing of two Sikh community members in  Peshawar : "The soldiers of the Caliphate targeted two followers of the polytheistic Sikh sect in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area of Peshawar with a machine gun, which led to their killing."


The killing of two Sikh brothers follows claims by the Pakistani security agencies that they had killed the mastermind behind the March suicide attack on Peshawar's Kocha Risaldar, who belonged to ISIS-K. 

As many as 57 people were killed and over 200 injured in the  suicide bombing at the Ahle Tashih mosque of Kucha Risaldar in Peshawar city on March 4 this year.

According to Pakistani experts, whenever law enforcement agencies launched an operation against ISIS-K  or other militants, such attacks on minorities were carried out immediately

In September last year, Satnam Singh,  a well-known Sikh ‘hakeem' (Unani medicine practitioner) was shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside his clinic in Peshawar.  

Haroon Sarbadial, a minority rights activist in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, says there are about 5,000 Christians, up to 70,000 Hindus and about 15,000 Sikhs in the restive province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.  

The new Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told the chief minister of the province  to take steps to ensure the safety of the lives and the property of citizens, especially minorities.



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."

It also called on the government to "make it clear that violence against religious minorities will not be tolerated".

Meanwhile India has condemned the incident. 

“Deeply saddened to hear about the dastardly killing of two members of the Sikh Sangat in Pakistan’s Peshawar. Acts like these clearly amplify the dangers that religious minorities face in our volatile neighbourhood and the necessity for humane measures like CAA,” wrote India’s Housing Minister Hardeep Singh in his post on Twitter. 

Meanwhile many Sikh organisations and leaders have urged the Indian government to take up the issue of security with the Pakistani government. 

“Tragic & unfortunate! 2 Sikhs, Ranjit Singh & Kuldeep Singh shot dead by armed men in Peshawar today.

Such a dastardly attack has spread panic among minority Sikhs in Pak. I urge S Jaishankar  Ji to take up the issue of safety of Sikhs in Pak with his counterparts in Pakistan,” wrote Manjinder Singh Sirsa.



Also Read: Peshawar suicide bombing of a Shia mosque raises a question: Can Pakistan's sectarian divide ever be bridged?