A well-known Sikh ‘hakeem’ was shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside his clinic on Thursday afternoon in Pakistan’s restive northwestern city of Peshawar, police said. ‘Hakeem’ Sardar Satnam Singh (Khalsa), 45, was at his clinic when attackers barged into his cabin and opened fire at him, police said. Singh, who practised Unani medicine, received four bullets, died instantly, police said.
But The Express Tribune newspaper reported that Singh was rushed to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial capital’s Lady Reading Hospital in an injured condition where he later succumbed to his injuries. The police further stated that the physician had arrived in Peshawar from Hassan Abdaal a day earlier.
The killers managed to escape from the crime scene. Police team rushed to the site and cordoned off the area to nab the culprits. The reason behind the murder was not ascertained yet.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Singh, a well-known figure in the Sikh community, was running his clinic ‘Dharmandar Pharmacy’ on Charsadda Road in Peshawar. He had been living in the city for the past 20 years. Singh is survived by his wife, three daughters and two sons.
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.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan strongly condemned the killing of Singh and directed the police to take immediate steps to arrest the killers.
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.