PESHAWAR: In startling revelations on Monday, police said that a minorities’ leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Baldev Kumar, ordered the killing of PTI provincial lawmaker Sardar Soran Singh because of political rivalry.
Sardar Soran Singh, a special assistant to the Khyber Pahktunkhwa chief minister on minority affairs, was gunned down last week in Buner.
In a press conference today, DIG Malakand Azad Khan said six suspects have been arrested in the murder case all of whom have confessed to the crime.
“Sardar Soran Singh’s murder is a tale of political rivalry. He was murdered by political opponents when they were denied contesting elections on a party ticket given to Soran Singh,” said the officer.
“We arrested six people, including a member of the Sikh community, Baldev Kumar,” Khan told reporters.
The suspects were presented before the media with face covered with black masks.
The killing followed a dispute over the distribution of party tickets in local elections, Khan said.
Khan said contract killers were hired by political rival Baldev Kumar, PTI minorities’ wing president in Swat and a district councilor, to assassinate Singh.
“During initial investigations, Buldev and other people acknowledged their involvement in the murder of Soran Singh.”
Baldev Kumar and Soran Singh were also business partners, the senior police official said.
“Soran Singh reportedly refused a party ticket to Baldev Kumar, which enraged him and he hired assassins to kill Soran Singh,” the police official added.
The police officer also rejected claims by the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan that they killed Soran Singh.
The TTP had claimed responsibility soon after the shooting.
Police official Khan rejected that claim as false. “This is totally wrong,” he said. “The Taliban aren’t behind this murder.”
The case was registered on the complaint of Soran Singh’s son.