PESHAWAR, Pakistan, 5 January 2020
A 25-year-old Sikh man has been shot dead by unknown gunmen in the northwestern city of Peshawar in Pakistan, police and the victim’s family said on Sunday, a day after a mob attacked Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Lahore where Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev was born.
Rowinder Singh had come to Peshawar from Shangla district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to shop for his wedding, police said.
“His bullet-riddled body was recovered from the area under the Chamkani police station and sent to a hospital,” police said in a statement.
“Police have already launched a probe into the killing,” the statement said.
Harmeet Singh, the victim’s brother, told the media that an unknown person called him from Rowinder’s mobile on late Saturday and informed him that “my brother was killed”.
“The government must arrest the culprits as early as possible. I will not find peace until the criminals are arrested,” he said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the murder which took place a day after a mob attacked Gurdwara Nankana Sahib where Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev was born.
India on Sunday strongly condemned the “targeted killing” of the minority Sikh community member in Peshawar.
India condemns ‘targeted killing’
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Pakistan should stop “prevaricating” and take immediate action to apprehend and give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of the crime.
“India strongly condemns the targeted killing of minority Sikh community member in Peshawar that follows the recent despicable vandalism and desecration of the holy Gurdwara Sri Janam Asthan at Nankana Sahib and the unresolved case of abduction, forced conversion and marriage of a Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur,” the MEA said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday condemned the recent incident of vandalism at the Nankana Sahib, saying it goes against his “vision” and the government will show “zero tolerance” against those involved in it.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh too condemned the killing and demanded that the Imran Khan government conduct a thorough investigation and punish the culprits.
“Shocked and anguished over killing of Sikh youth Ravinder Singh in #Pakistan, coming on the heels of #NankanaSahibAttack. @ImranKhan govt must ensure thorough investigation and strict punishment for the culprits. This is the time to act what you preach,” Amarinder Singh tweeted.
Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, also known as Gurdwara Janam Asthan, is a site near Lahore where the first Guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak, was born.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Friday rejected the media reports that Gurdwara Nanakana Sahib was desecrated in a mob attack, saying the birthplace of founder of Sikhism remains “untouched and undamaged” and the “claims of destruction” of one of the holiest Sikh shrines are “false”.
Minorities in the Muslim-majority Pakistan make up some two per cent of the country’s total population.
Pakistan has witnessed violence against religious minorities in the past as al-Qaeda and Taliban-led militants regularly target Christian, Sikhs, Hindus, Ahmadis and Shiite communities in the country.