Global News - Redeem the Oppressed

Gunmen Shot Dead Two Sikhs in Peshawar

Gunmen have shot two Sikh businessmen dead in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s capital Peshawar. The incident unfolded on Sunday, May 15. This comes as a latest episode in a series of targeted attacks on minority communities.

The deceased have been identified as 42-year-old Kanwaljeet Singh and 38-year-old Ranjeet Singh. Police details that the assailants were riding a motorbike and they opened fire at the victims in Bata Tal bazaar of Sarband, area of Peshawar. The victims died on the spot, as the bike-borne assailants fled from the scene.

Kanwaljeet and Ranjeet were associated with spice business and ran shops in the Bata Tal bazaar in Sarband. A case has been registered by the Counter-Terrorism Department. “The incident appears to be a terrorist attack. The CCTV footage will be acquired and the suspects will be arrested soon,” Aqiq Hussain Saddar Superintendent of Police told national television channel.

As soon as the news of this heinous incident spread agitated Sikh protestors staged a protest on the Peshawar-Islamabad road in front of Qila Bala Hissar and expressed their deep anguish and grief over the killings. They held placards against the brutal killings and raising slogans – “Stop target killings”, “We want justice.”

Pakistani Premier, Mian Shehbaz Sharif has strongly condemned the incident. “Strongly condemn the killing of our Sikh citizens in Peshawar, KP. Pakistan belongs to all its people. Have ordered a high level inquiry to ascertain facts. The killers will be arrested & meted out exemplary punishment. My most sincere sympathies to the bereaved families,” he tweeted.

The Premier had ordered a high level inquiry into this case while directed the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan to ensure prompt action in the matter and to arrest and punish the culprits. The PM further directed the CM to take effective steps in order to provide safety to the religious communities nestled in the province.

By Farrukh Saif

Farrukh Saif is a Pakistani human rights activist based in Germany. He founded his own organization, the Farrukh Saif Foundation (FSF), in 2009 with the goal of supporting marginalized and oppressed minorities in Pakistan who are affected by religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, forced conversions, abductions, rape, and bonded slavery. The main focus of the FSF is on the liberation of bonded laborers, particularly those working in brick kilns in rural areas of Pakistan. In 2018, the FSF merged with the US-based Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved. Throughout his career, Farrukh has been a leading voice for the rights of minorities in Pakistan and has gained international attention for his campaigns against the misuse of blasphemy laws and the belief that asylum is not a crime. In 2014, he played a key role in the release of hundreds of asylum seekers from Thai jails and has worked with his legal team to save numerous victims of strict blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Farrukh has also been invited by the Hungarian government to discuss his work and the issues he addresses. In addition to his work with the FSF, Farrukh has also been involved in various other humanitarian efforts, including providing health care services to internally displaced persons in Khayber Pakhtoon Khawa in 2009 and assisting flood victims in Sindh and Punjab in 2010. He has worked to aid victimized minorities in Pakistan and has a strong track record of successfully advocating for their rights. Farrukh joined forces with Keith Davies in 2018 to co-found the Emergency Committee to Save The Persecuted and Enslaved, and since 2009, they have collectively successfully rescued more than 36000 individuals from slavery and persecution.