Pakistan Taliban behead two Sikhs, send heads to gurdwara
Posted by jagoindia on February 22, 2010
Taliban kill 2 Sikhs, send heads to Pak gurdwara
Omer Farooq Khan, TNN, Feb 22, 2010
PESHAWAR/NEW DELHI: The Taliban has reportedly beheaded two Sikhs in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region bordering Afghanistan and sent the heads to a gurdwara.
Jaspal Singh and Mahan Singh, both businessmen, were kidnapped from Tira Valley, in Khyber agency, and Darra Adamkheil, in Orakzai agency, on January 19 and held for ransom. Sources in the area told TOI on Sunday that they were killed because they were paying `protection’ money to a rival faction.
However, according to security sources in New Delhi, Jaspal and Mahan were reportedly told to convert to Islam or face death. When they refused, their heads were chopped off and sent to the Bhai Joga Singh gurdwara in Peshawar.
The Indian government has taken serious note of this and is in touch with the high commission in Islamabad. “This incident is shocking. We are looking into it,” a source said.
The miniscule Sikh community in NWFP and Afghanistan has been under pressure from the Taliban to embrace Islam, official sources said. The Taliban, during their reign in Afghanistan, had imposed jiziya — a religious tax — on all minorities, mostly Hindus and Sikhs. They were made to wear a piece of yellow cloth on their breast pocket to identify themselves.
Pakistani Taliban behead 2 Sikhs
Peshawar/Islamabad, February 21, 2010
Two Sikhs who were kidnapped over a month back have been beheaded by the Pakistani Taliban in the country’s restive tribal belt in a brutal act by the militants.
Some more members of the minority community are still in the custody of the rebels.
The body of Jaspal Singh was found in the Khyber tribal region, located a short distance from the provincial capital of Peshawar, while the body of Mahal Singh was found in the Aurakzai Agency, sources said on Sunday night
There was confusion about the total number of Sikhs who were kidnapped for ransom from the Bara area of Khyber Agency by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. A source said four Sikhs were abducted while another report said the total number of kidnapped persons was six.
The Sikhs were kidnapped 34 days ago and the Taliban had demanded Rs 30 million as ransom for their release. Two of the kidnapped Sikhs were beheaded after the expiry of the deadline for the payment of the ransom, sources said.
Gurvinder Singh and Gurjit Singh are still in the custody of the militants, sources said.
The kidnapping occurred in an area where there the government has virtually no control and the militants are in a dominant position, sources said.
A sizeable number of Sikhs lived in the tribal belt, particularly Aurakzai Agency, till the Taliban imposed ‘jiziya’ or religious tax on them last year. Most members of the community then fled to cities across Pakistan.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (DSGPC) condemned the incident and said that Pakistan government should take strong action against Taliban.