Sikh community concedes to Taliban demand in FATA , pay Rs 20 million as Jiziya

April 16th, 2009 - 12:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Islamabad, Apr.16 (ANI): The Sikh community of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Orakzai Agency has conceded to the demand of the Taliban to pay them 20 million rupees as Jiziya (religious tax) in return for ‘protection’.

According to the Daily Times, following the community’s decision to accept the demands of the Taliban, the outlawed group released Sikh leader Sardar Saiwang Singh from its captivity, and also vacated several houses that they had captured.

Officials said the Taliban has announced that the Sikhs were now free to live anywhere in the agency and carry on their work, The Daily Times reports.

Pakistan Taliban had forcibly occupied 10 houses of Sikhs in lower Orakzai Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and took their leader as hostage for ransom and demanded Rs.50 million as Jiziya from them. As per details the militants in their first ever ‘attempt’ on Sikh minority, resorted to forcible occupation of 10 of their houses in Ferozkhel area. The militants also took their leader Sardar Kalyan Singh as hostage and came up with the demand of paying them Rs 60 million as ransom. The frightened Sikh community left their houses in the area and began shifting to other places of security from the probable wrath of militants that had currently occupied 10 of their houses in the locality.Locals said the Taliban had notified the Sikh families about the ‘tax’ around a week ago. They said of the 15 Sikh families in Ferozekhel, 10 had shifted while the remaining were preparing to do so. The locals said the families were impoverished and had left the area to avoid any Taliban action. (ANI)

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