The death of a 25-year-old Sikh man in Peshwara last week was a “contract killing” orchestrated by his fiancee who did not want to marry him, Pakistan said Friday.
Parvinder Singh was shot dead last Saturday weeks before his marriage in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. His killing drew sharp condemnation from India, which demanded exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of the crime.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai Friday said Parvinder’s fiancee Prem Kumari planned and executed the murder allegedly in connivance with her boyfriend.
A provincial leader of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party in the neighboring country, Nawaz Khan said that the woman hired the contract killers from the money Parvinder had been sending to her from Malaysia where he worked.
Parvinder, brother of the first Sikh electronic media journalist in Pakistan Harmeet Singh, was to get married with Prem Kumari on January 28. On Saturday, he had gone out for shopping when his family received a call from anonymous person informing that he had been shot dead and they should pick the body.
Reports in Pakistan media quoted Peshawar police as saying that Prem Kumari paid Rs 7 lakh for the contract killing.
“Giraftaari ke baad, Prem Kumari ne apni statement mein kaha hai ki mujhe ye pasand nahi tha aur main us se jaan chhudana chahti thi (After her arrest, Prem Kumari said in her statement that she did not like Parvinder and wanted to get rid of him),” Yousafzai told The Indian Express over phone, adding that apart from Prem Kumari, there were “two or three other accused”.
“Prem Kumari called him up saying that they should go shopping for the wedding. After they finished shopping, Prem Kumari took Parvinder to a house in Mardan on the pretext of introducing him to one of her female friends. In that house, a man with whom Prem Kumari had an affair and the contract killers were waiting. They shot Parvinder and threw his body at a deserted place in Peshawar,” said Yousafzai.
“It was not a religious murder as had been claimed by Indian TV channels,” added Yousafzai.
News agency PTI, quoting officials in Pakistan, said that Parvinder was 25 years old and Prem Kumari 18.
Parvinder’s brother Harmeet, however, told The Indian Express that Prem Kumari was “seven years older to my brother”
Harmeet said that Parvinder and Prem Kumari got engaged over a decade ago. “They were young when they got engaged. My brother was a teenager and she was seven years older to him. My brother liked her. He had kept Rs 37 lakh in her bank account and asked her to take the money from there for wedding shopping. She took him to a place telling him that she wanted to introduce him to one of her friends. The two contract killers hired by her killed my brother,” he said.
Harmeet added, “We have learnt that she had an affair with a Muslim boy.”
PTI leader Nawaz Khan, who is also provincial vice president of the party, said, “Prem Kumari used the same money to get him killed which Parvinder used to send to her bank account from Malaysia.”
Prem Kumari had even agreed to convert to marry the Muslim friend, new agency PTI quoted a senior police offical as saying.
Prem Kumari’s family lives in Mohallah Sherdad Abad Mardan district. Her father is a Hindu and mother is a Sikh.
Parvinder had returned to Pakistan after working in Malaysia for six years.
Meanwhile, Nawaz said, “Since time immemorial, Sikhs and Pathans have been living in bonhomie here. I have been with the family of Parvinder from the day one. There was procession when his body was brought to the village. There was never a mazhabi (religious) factor in the murder.”
The murder took place a day after a mob attacked Gurdwara Nankana Sahib where Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev was born. India on Sunday strongly condemned the “targeted killing” of the minority Sikh community member in Peshawar.
Minorities in the Muslim-majority Pakistan make up some two per cent of the country’s total population. Pakistan has witnessed violence against religious minorities in the past as al-Qaeda and Taliban-led militants regularly target Christian, Sikhs, Hindus, Ahmadis and Shiite communities in the country.
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