On Friday too, a Sikh shopkeeper, identified as Tarlok Singh, was targeted and bullets were fired at him but luckily he survived.
In yet another targeted attack on a tiny Sikh minority community in Pakistan, Manmohan Singh (32), a shopkeeper, was shot dead in Rashidgarhi Bazaar of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, Saturday.
The local Sikh community said that it was the second such attack on them in two days. On Friday too, a Sikh shopkeeper, identified as Tarlok Singh, was targeted and bullets were fired at him but luckily he survived.
Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone, Balbir Singh, a local Sikh community member, said that Manmohan Singh, who owned a cosmetics shop, was on the way home after closing his shop and had boarded an autorickshaw when motorbike-borne assailants started following him and opened fire. “It was around 8 pm. He was on the way home in an auto when assailants came and opened fire. He died on the spot,” said Balbir, adding that Manmohan was survived by his parents, wife, son, and brother.
“His body is now being taken to Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh where tiny Sikh community living in Peshawar will pay last respects and decide further course of action on targeted killings of Sikhs being executed with impunity in Peshawar,” he said.
Locals said that on Friday too, a Sikh shopkeeper Tarlok Singh was targeted by assailants who opened fire at him and then fled. “At least seven bullets were fired at him but luckily he escaped with an injury in his leg,” said another local Sikh man. The attack was later claimed by Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), as reported by the local news platform “The Khorasan Diary.”
Most recently, it was in March this year that Dayal Singh, a shopkeeper who was sitting inside his shop in Dir Colony market, was shot dead by assailants who had barged in and shot him dead.
Satnam Singh, a Hakeem, was shot dead inside his shop in Faridabad of Peshawar on September 30, 2021. Then on May 15, 2022, two Sikh men Ranjit Singh and Kuljit Singh, were shot dead when they were sitting inside their shops at Batta Tal Chowk.
Most Sikhs in Peshawar are from financially weak backgrounds and run small grocery/spices/Hakeem (traditional medicines) shops to earn livelihoods. KPK is home to a tiny Pashtun Sikh community which is a unique one. Unlike other Sikhs settled in India and Pakistan, the Pashtun Sikh community is not very well-versed in the Punjabi language (either Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi), and their main language remains Pashto.
Around 300 Sikh families are currently living in colonies around Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh in Peshawar.