The death of a Sikh youth, Dhavinder Singh, in an armed attack in Nankana Sahib has created tension between Muslim and Sikh communities in the district.
According to an FIR filed by the victim’s brother, Dhavinder Singh was shot and critically injured by unidentified man on March 7.
Singh was rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital Nankana Sahib, where doctors referred him to the Allied Hospital in Faisalabad due to his precarious condition.
Later, he was shifted to Islamabad where he succumbed to his injuries on Friday, 30 days after the attack.
Incensed by the murder, hundreds of Sikhs gathered on Lahore Road in Mananwala. They blocked the road for about two hours and chanted slogans against the police for ‘their failure’ to arrest the killer.
They also tried to march towards the Lahore Press Club but were stopped by the police. Senior police officials, including Sheikhupura’s regional police officer, reached the scene and assured the protesters that the killer would be arrested.
After the assurance, the protesters dispersed peacefully.
“We respect the Sikhs and ensuring their security is our priority,” said Sheikhupura’s Regional Police Officer DIG Zulfiqar Cheema, while speaking to The Express Tribune. He added that a suspect named by the victim’s relatives in the FIR, Chaudhry Zaman, has been taken into custody and a formal investigation has been launched. However, sources said that the police have not yet arrested Zaman.
Relatives of Zaman, meanwhile, took out a rally after Friday prayers from Jamia Mosque on Railway Road. The protesters, over 200 in number, shouted slogans against the Sikh community and the local police, claiming that the accusations against Zaman were baseless.
In an attempt to avoid clashes or untoward incidents, a heavy police contingent has been deployed in the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2012.