A Sikh businessman was kidnapped from Qaidabad on Monday by unidentified armed men.
Rakbir Singh, a trader and shopkeeper in Karkhano Market, was nabbed outside his house by armed men who overpowered him and shoved him in their car. The kidnapping took place in the jurisdiction of the Banamarhi police station.
Sikhs believe Rakbir has been kidnapped for ransom.
“He goes to the temple to offer his prayers, and then to his shop as per his daily routine,” said Sahib Singh, a former Sikh council member. “He was kidnapped while returning home.”
Sikhs have decided to stage a protest in front of the Chief Minister House today (Wednesday) to protest the kidnapping. The Banamarhi police have registered an FIR and started an investigation.
Commenting on another incident, he said that robbers in Shah Qabool broke into the house of another Sikh on January 18, held the family hostage and stole Rs1 million along with about 140 grammes of gold.
“In the past few months, Sikhs have been a frequent target for mobile phone snatchers as well and all these things are not coincidental,” he argued.
Peshawar is home to about 500 Sikh families who migrated from Khyber Agency and Orakzai Agency, Singh said. There were two incidents where Sikhs were brutally killed, he said, adding that Peshawar, too, is becoming less safe.
Earlier this month, the mutilated body of a Sikh businessman was found in a gunny bag in Choura village of Jamrud tehsil, Khyber Agency. Mahinder Singh had been missing for two months before he was found dead.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2013.
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