Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir protest Taliban act, call shutdown Tuesday

Jammu, Feb 22 (IANS) Sikh organisations in Jammu and Kashmir have called for a general strike Tuesday to protest against the beheading of a Sikh by the Taliban near Pakistan’s Peshawar city.

Addressing a press conference Monday, Sudershan Singh Wazir, convenor of the All Jammu and Kashmir Sikh United Front, said what happened to Sikhs in Pakistan was ‘brutal’.

‘It is unacceptable,’ he said.

The body of Jaspal Singh was found in Pakistan’s restive tribal region Sunday, triggering panic in the small community that has faced the ire of the Taliban for some time.

Jaspal was kidnapped along with two other Sikhs — Gurvinder Singh and Gurjit Singh — from Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency near the provincial capital Peshawar 34 days ago, DawnNews and other Pakistani media reported.

The BBC, however, said two Sikhs had been done to death, and identified the second man as Mastan Singh. The Taliban demanded Rs.3 crore as ransom for their release, media reports said.

Wazir claimed that several student organizations, the Jammu Bar Association and Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry have also supported the shutdown call Tuesday.

‘This is to show to the world how the Sikh community is facing harassment in Pakistan. They are being pressurised to convert and are being killed,’ Wazir said, demanding that the centre should raise the issue with Pakistan.

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