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Six arrested for Pakistani Sikh politician’s murder (Lead)

Islamabad, April 26 (IANS) Six men paid to kill a prominent Sikh politician in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have been arrested, the media reported on Tuesday.

According to police, the assassination of Minority Affairs Minister Sardar Soran Singh on Friday in Buner was ordered by a rival politician, Baldev Kumar, Efe news reported.

Baldev Kumar had sought a seat with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party but had been passed over for Soran Singh which led to the murder, said Deputy Inspector General Azad Khan on Monday.

The Pakistani Taliban had falsely claimed responsibility for the murder, said the police.

The murderers were caught when officers received a tip that traced the shooting to one of them who revealed the plot, The Nation reported. Soran Singh was a prominent leader of the Sikh community in Pakistan.

Religious leaders condemned the killing and vowed to initiate a campaign against terrorism and sectarian violence, media reports said.

They were speaking at a gathering organised by Pakistan Ulema Council to pay homage to Soran Singh.

One of the religious leaders, Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Ashrafi, said Soran Singh sacrificed his family for the cause of Pakistan, referring to the slain lawmaker’s refusal to leave Pakistan along with his wife who took divorce and settled in India.

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