On Friday, a Sikh shopkeeper was shot and killed by unidentified bike riders in Ghari Atta Muhammad, Dir Colony Road on the outskirts of Peshawar. Police have found empty shells of TT pistols at the crime scene and are obtaining CCTV footage to investigate the incident. This attack is another in a series of targeted attacks on Sikh shopkeepers in the area.
The attack has caused widespread panic among the locals and Sikh community as in the recent past, many Sikh shopkeepers have been killed in Peshawar, Charsadda, Khyber and other districts by terrorists. For example, in May last year, two Sikh traders Kanwaljeet and Ranjit were gunned down on Bara Road on the outskirts of Peshawar, and an AK-47 rifle had been used in the daring attack.
Moreover, in September 2021, a Sikh herbalist Satnam Singh was shot dead on Charsadda Road in the provincial capital, and the banned militant outfit Islamic State group’s Khorasan chapter (IS-K) had claimed responsibility for the attack. The police claimed in December last year to have killed three IS-K commanders in the city insisting the militants were involved in the murder of the Sikh hakeem and other attacks.
The attacks on police have also intensified since the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in 2021 after the US withdrawal from the war-torn country. On Saturday, four policemen including a DSP of Lakki Marwat police were martyred when their vehicle was blown in a roadside bomb blast by terrorists.
In another incident, a prayer leader in Mardan district of K-P was killed when a team of Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) tried to arrest him and he opened fire on a CTD constable, killing him on the spot. Police said that a CTD team raided a mosque on a tip-off to arrest the accused Maulvi Fawad who was sleeping in his room on the first floor of the mosque in the Jehangirabad area of Takhatbai, Mardan. “Qari Fawad was wanted to police in many terrorism cases and he was linked with ISIS-Khurasan,” he said, adding that basically Fawad was a resident of Bakhshali Mardan but he worked as prayer leader in Jehangirabad.
In summary, the repeated attacks on Sikh shopkeepers and police officers in the region have caused widespread fear and panic among the locals. The authorities need to take swift action to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice to restore peace and stability in the area.