Sikh human rights activist gunned down in Peshawar, Pakistan

Charanjit Singh was shot dead in his shop.

Human rights activist and minority leader are just some of the accolades Charanjit Singh received for his exceptional work in minority rights in Pakistan. Singh was gunned down in his shop in Scheme Chowk area, Peshawar on Tuesday.

Singh’s family hails from the Kurram tribal region but later migrated to Peshawar like most of the Sikhs in the country. Singh owned a store in the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province for a long time.

The Superintendent of Police, Saddar Shaukat Khan told the local media that Singh died on spot. He further added, “an attacker shot Singh inside his shop and escaped”.

The murder has caused a significant amount of anxiety within the minority community in Pakistan. Most Sikhs in the country live in Mohalla Jogan Shah where an old Gurudwara is located.

Charanjit Singh was known to be a strong voice for religious harmony. He recently organized an Iftar party for the locals. It was his strong criticism of Taliban and their policies are what might have caused this death according to some.

In recent years, the number of targeted killing ok Sikhs has been on the rise, especially from militant groups like Taliban who force minorities to pay jiziya or a form of religious tax. Many members of the minority have also been kidnapped and killed.

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