Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police on Monday claimed to have arrested six suspects, including a minority leader of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), over orchestrating the murder of his own party lawmaker Sardar Soran Singh.
Singh, who was also a special adviser to K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Minority Affairs, was gunned down on April 22 just outside his house in Buner district.
“We have rounded up six suspects, including a PTI minority leader Baldev Kumar held from Swat, who arranged for the murder of Singh over political rivalry,” DIG Malakand Azad Khan told reporters during press conference on Monday.
The DIG said Baldev Kumar, who is a prime suspect in Singh’s murder, wanted to contest elections but he could not secure a party ticket which created a dispute between them and led him to hire paid assassins for the MPA’s murder.
“Call data of two accused Mukhtar and Behroz, who allegedly carried out the murder on a promise of a financial reward, shows that the suspects were present in the same locality where Singh was murdered.”
The police officer, however, rebuffed the claim made by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, a proscribed organisation, for killing the PTI lawmaker. “TTP’s claim of responsibility for Singh’s murder is incorrect as the accused have already confessed to the killing which was a result of a political rivalry between the lawmakers of the same political party.”
Azad said police will file a case in a local anti-terrorism court (ATC); however, further investigations are still being carried out.
Born in Peer Baba area of Buner district, Singh studied initially at local schools and ultimately graduated from Degree College Swarhi. He married an Indian national and had a son and a daughter from her. However, the couple went their separate ways later on. He married a Swat resident ten years ago and left behind a son and a daughter with her. Singh was a popular figure in the area and elected as district nazim on a Jamaat-e-Islami ticket. He ultimately joined the PTI and was a member of the party till his untimely death.
Violent acts have not been reported against non-Muslims in Buner or Swat in the recent past. The period includes the time from 2005 to 2009 when the latter was under the control of the Taliban.