Armed men gun down Sikh hakeem in Peshawar

Satnam Singh was at his dawakhana (clinic) when attackers barged into his cabin and opened fire at him, police said.

Armed men shot dead a Sikh ‘hakeem’ (traditional medicine practitioner) inside his clinic on Thursday in Faqirabad area of Pakistan’s Peshawar.

Satnam Singh was at his dawakhana (clinic) when attackers barged into his cabin and opened fire at him, police said. He received four bullets and died instantly, they said, adding the killers managed to escape from the crime scene.

Police team rushed to the site and encircled the area to nab the culprits. The reason behind the murder was not ascertained yet.

Singh, a well-known figure in the Sikh community of Peshawar, was running his clinic ‘Dharmandar Pharmacy’ on Charsadda Road.

Speaking to The Indian Express over phone, Ameer Singh, president, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) said that Satnam Singh was a ‘gold medalist’ hakeem and had been practicing his trade for past over 15 years. “Seven to eight months ago, he had shifted to Hasan Abdal near Panja Sahib with family. But his old clinic in Peshawar was still functioning and taken care of by his employees. He wasn’t attending the Peshawar clinic regularly. On Thursday, he had gone there because one of his friends had passed away in Peshawar,” said Ameer Singh.

“We are now awaiting the autopsy report. An FIR has been registered and police have started an investigation,” he added.

Ameer Singh said that it would be too early to comment if it was a targeted killing or fallout of some personal enmity. “Police are working on the case,” he said.

About 15,000 Sikhs live in Peshawar, mostly in the Jogan Shah neighborhood of the provincial capital. Most of the Sikh community members in Peshawar are involved in business, while some also run pharmacies.

The police is investigating the matter from different angles and possibility of terrorism is also being probed.

In 2018, Charanjit Singh, a prominent Sikh community member, was killed by unknown men in Peshawar. Similarly, news channel anchor Ravinder Singh was killed in 2020 in the city. In 2016, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf National Assembly member Soren Singh was killed in Peshawar.

According to the 2017 census, Hindus constitute the largest religious minority in Pakistan. Christians make up the second largest religious minority. The Ahmadis, Sikhs and Parsis are also among the notable religious minorities in Pakistan.

(With PTI, Peshawar)

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