A leader of the minority Sikh community, Lala Del Souz, was killed by an unknown gunman in northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz city. The incident took place when Del Souz, a naturopath, was reportedly on his way to his shop. Tolo News quoted relatives of the deceased as saying that he had survived an assassination attempt on him five years ago.
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Confirming the incident, Kunduz Security Chief Masoum Stanikzai said three suspects have been arrested by the police for the attack. He said investigations will continue. The head of Kunduz regional hospital, Naeem Mangal, said Del Souz succumbed while being taken to hospital. Del Souz’s uncle, Prem, said the deceased had been well liked and had no enemies.
The incident sparked uproar on social media as many people condemned the attack and sent their condolences to his family. Del Souz’s uncle, Prem, has asked government to thoroughly investigate the attack and make sure those responsible are brought to justice. He said the few remaining Sikhs will leave the province if those behind the incident are not brought to justice.
Del Souz was living with his uncle in their Daramsal (a Sikh’s temple). Many Sikhs have left the province. Currently, there are only three families still there. Sikhs have lived in the region for over thirty years and at one time there were as many as 40 families in the area.