Ravinder Singh. (Photo Credit: File photo)
A member of the Sikh community, identified as Ravinder Singh, was shot dead in Pakistan’s Peshawar by unknown gunmen on Sunday. Ravinder Singh was the younger brother of a TV journalist Harmeet Singh. Ravinder Singh, 25, a businessman in Malaysia, had come to Peshawar from Shangla district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to shop for his wedding in next month, Harmeet told the media.
"His bullet-riddled body was recovered from the area under the Chamkani police station and sent to a hospital," the police said in a statement.
"Police have already launched a probe into the killing," the statement said.
The incident comes two days after the Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan's Punjab province was attacked by a Muslim mob. After killing Ravinder, the man made a phone call to his family, the police said, news agency ANI reported.
Furious over the by the murder of his brother, Harmeet said "without minorities, no country can flourish and progress. Pakistan is beautiful because of minorities but each year, we end up carrying the dead on our shoulders".
Pakistan, he said, gets massive funds from several countries to protect minorities.
"But there is no protection. That's why I am here to carry my dead brother's body today. I won't rest until the Pakistani government books the murderers of my brother," he added.
"The government must arrest the culprits as early as possible. I will not find peace until the criminals are arrested," he said.
India condemns 'targeted killing'
India on Sunday strongly condemned the "targeted killing" of Ravinder Singh. 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.
It said the government of Pakistan should act in defence of their own minorities instead of
Amarinder Singh condemns the killing
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh 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. @ImranKhanPTI govt must ensure thorough investigation and strict punishment for the culprits. This is the time to act what you preach," Amarinder Singh tweeted.
Badal condemns Sikh man's killing in Peshawar
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal condemned the killing of the Sikh man in Peshawar and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up the issue with his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan to ensure safety of the community in the neighbouring country.
Badal said the rising attacks on the Sikh community are a direct outcome of the "anti-minority policies of Pakistan".
In a statement, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president urged Modi to "take up the issue with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure the safety of Sikh brethren in the neighbouring country".
Punjab BJP leader hits out at Navjot Singh Sidhu
Senior Punjab BJP leader Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina hit out at Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for his "studied silence" on the mob attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, asking where is he "hiding" now.
He also said that the attack justifies the amendments made to the Citizenship Act to protect minorities in three neighbouring countries.
While the whole Sikh community and India were shocked by the incident, Sidhu has gone into hibernation and has not uttered even a word against his "Pakistani friends", Chhina said.
"Where are you hiding now? Your friends whom you were embracing have not only waged war against India but are even targeting the most sacred places like the birthplace of Guru Nank Dev ji. Your silence is deafening," he said in a statement.
Notably, Chhina and Sidhu had been were at loggerheads even when the latter was in the BJP.
"Sikhs and Hindus are minorities in Pakistan and are not safe there. Their lives, properties and places of worships are always under attack. The CAA has brought respite to the beleaguered minority communities as they can seek the right to live in India," Chhina said.
(With PTI inputs)