Gunman kills Sikh newspaper editor

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A leading member of the Sikh community has been murdered in a street shooting, writes Jason Bennetto.

Tarsem Singh Purewal, 60, the owner and editor of the best selling Punjabi language newspaper Des Pardes, was shot once in the chest near to his offices in west London, police disclosed yesterday.

The motive for the killing is unknown, but members of the million-strong Sikh community in Britain believe it may be linked to the newspaper's stand against the Indian government. He has also given wide-scale coverage to reports about the killings and unrest in the state of Punjab, including calls for independence. The murder, however, may have been a street robbery.

His body was discovered lying in Crescent Road, Southall, by a member of the public. He is believed to have been killed at about 8.30pm on Tuesday.

He was found close to his grey Audi car and the newspaper offices. Diners who may have seen him from the nearby Somali Restaurant have been asked to contact the police.

Mr Purewal, of Norwood Green Road, Southall, who was wearing a distinctive red turban, was married with two children.

Mr Purewal set up the first Punjabi language newspaper about 27 years ago.

The weekly tabloid newspaper now sells more than 10,000 copies at 99p throughout Britain. It is also available in Europe, Australia and the United States.